Drivers are paying the highest prices for gasoline at the start of a new year since 2014 when pump prices were more than $3 per gallon.
High travel volumes over the holidays put upward pressure on prices. In Oregon, the gas tax went up four cents on Jan. 1 to 34 cents a gallon as part of the $5.3 billion transportation funding package that was approved by Oregon lawmakers during the 2017 legislative session. For the week, the national average for regular unleaded gains four cents to $2.49 a gallon while the Oregon average ticks up half a cent to $2.79.
“The record-breaking travel volume over the holidays sent pump prices climbing as we wrapped up 2017. AAA expects pump prices to trend lower this month as demand drops,” says Marie Dodds, public affairs director for AAA Oregon/Idaho. The latest Energy Information Administration report measures gasoline demand at a strong 9.5 million b/d, which is typical of the holiday season. However, historical data shows that in early January demand typically drops and stays below the 9 million mark for the first few months of the year.
Oregon is one of 40 states and the District of Columbia where gas prices are higher week-over-week. The largest increase is in Delaware (-13 cents). The largest weekly decrease is in Alaska (-2 cents).
Oregon is one of 36 states and the District of Columbia where gas prices are lower now than a month ago. The national average is the same and the Oregon average is four cents less than a month ago. The largest monthly decrease is in Alaska (-17 cents). The largest monthly increase is in Indiana (+24 cents).