Week marks 1K days of $3-plus gas

Published 12:02 am Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Tuesday marked a milestone in the pricing of a necessity most have come to accept as the norm, while others still grimace each time they are forced to fill up.

The day was the 1,000th consecutive day the national average price of gasoline surpassed $3 per gallon, according to AAA. The current streak began on Dec. 23, 2010. AAA forecasts the national average will remain above $3 per gallon for at least another thousand days barring a major economic recession.


“Paying less than $3 per gallon for gasoline may be automotive history for most Americans, like using 8-track tapes or going to a drive-in movie,” AAA Alabama spokesperson Clay Ingram said. “The reality is that expensive gas is here to stay, which is tough on millions of people who need a car to live their lives. While a few lucky drivers may occasionally pay less than $3 per gallon, the national average is likely to remain more costly into the future.”

Monday’s national average was $3.52 per gallon. Gas prices on average have remained above $3.50 per gallon for the majority of days during the current streak, and AAA projected the national average would remain higher than $3.50 per gallon Tuesday. Since the current streak began, consumers will have paid a national average of $3.25 per gallon or higher for 914 total days; $3.50 per gallon or higher for 644 total days and $3.75 per gallon or higher for 190 total days. The national average has never crossed the $4 per gallon mark during the streak.

In Andalusia, Tuesday’s average cost per gallon was $3.19 per gallon, compared to $3.73 per gallon the same day last year.

“Motorists took notice when gas prices crept past $3 per gallon,” Ingram said. “Spending more on gas concerns consumers because it reduces savings and spending for everything else we need. Our leaders can help alleviate this economic burden by encouraging a national policy that stimulates production, limits price volatility, ensures greater efficiency and promotes alternative energy. Motorists can help push gas prices lower by conserving fuel and price shopping for every purchase.”

The state average for Alabama Monday was $3.27 per gallon and today marks 966 consecutive days above $3 per gallon for the state average. Alabama will hit mark for 1,000 consecutive days on Oct. 22.

The national average price of gas so far this year is $3.57 per gallon, but this average should drop through December as demand declines during cooler months. Last year was the most expensive year on record with an annual average of $3.60 per gallon, followed by an annual average of $3.51 per gallon in 2011. The average U.S. household in 2012 spent $2,912 on gasoline, or just under four percent of income before taxes, according to the Energy Information Administration.

The most expensive daily national average was $3.98 per gallon on May 5, 2011, while the lowest daily average was $3.01 per gallon on Dec. 23, 2010.