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Business, Energy, STEM

Memorial Day Weekend 2016: A Good Time to Take A Road Trip


gas_black-female-pumping-gasWe are less than 24 hours away from the start of the 2016 Memorial Day Weekend! And guess what? Gas prices are doing just what we expect them to do – rising…but just a little.

According to AAA, more than 38 million Americans—the most since 2005—are expected to travel during this year’s Memorial Day holiday period, defined as Thursday, May 26 to Monday, May 30, 2016.  Of that figure, 33.9 million travelers, or 89%, will drive to their destinations, up 2.1% from a year earlier. [Ref 1]

When I wrote Some Gas and Energy Updates for May 2016 about three weeks ago (May 3, 2016), the national average for a gallon of regular gasoline was $2.228.

My last post on this topic, How Much Are You Saving At The Gas Pump? And What Are You Spending It On? (May 19, 2016), the national average had risen to $2.269.

And…h-e-r-e we are, putting the finishing touches on most travel plans for this Memorial Day Weekend and today’s current national average price is $2.317.

Patrick DeHaan, senior petroleum analyst at GasBuddy.com expects demand for gasoline this holiday weekend to “break all-time record highs set in 2007 due to the combination of relatively low prices and a healthy economy, a situation we haven’t seen in just as long.” As a reminder, gasoline prices are the lowest they’ve been this time of year since 2005.

“In some regions like the Midwest, gas prices are rising due to more expensive crude oil costs brought about by wildfires in Canada,” said Linda Gorman, director of communications and public affairs for AAA Arizona. “But in other regions, like the West Coast, prices are relatively stable due to the recent restart of the ExxonMobil refinery in California, which should improve regional supplies ahead of the summer driving season.” [Ref 2]

More Quick Stats from AAA tell us that [Ref 3]:

  • The nation’s top five most expensive markets are: California ($2.80), Hawaii ($2.66), Washington ($2.59), Alaska ($2.58) and Nevada ($2.49).
  • The nation’s top five least expensive markets are: Mississippi ($2.05), South Carolina ($2.06), Arkansas ($2.06), Texas ($2.07) and Missouri ($2.07).
  • For the first time since August 2015, drivers in every state and Washington, D.C. are paying averages above $2 per gallon.

car-packed-for-road-tripGiven all of the above, it really is a good time to take a road trip. Please have a safe and happy Memorial Day Weekend.

Happy motoring!

Sources Cited:

  1. Cheapest Gas Pump Prices in Over a Decade This Memorial Day Weekend, by Myra P. Saefong for Market Watch, May 23, 2016 9:56 a.m. ET, http://www.marketwatch.com/story/gasoline-eyes-lowest-memorial-day-weekend-prices-in-over-a-decade-2016-05-19
  2. Pump and circumstance: Gas Prices March toward Summer, AAA Arizona, https://www.az.aaa.com/news/fuel/pump-and-circumstance-gas-prices-march-toward-summer
  3. Gas Prices Hit 2016 Highs Heading Into Memorial Day, AAA Daily Fuel Gauge Report, http://fuelgaugereport.aaa.com/gas-prices-hit-2016-highs-heading-into-memorial-day/

About Vi Brown

Vi is principal and CEO of Prophecy Consulting Group, LLC, an Arizona firm that provides business and engineering services to private and public clients. Prior to establishing her consulting practice in 2001, Vi worked with Motorola, Maricopa County Government, Pacific Gas & Electric, CH2M Hill, and Procter & Gamble. As an adjunct faculty member, Vi teaches undergraduate calculus classes and graduate level environmental courses. She is also a professional speaker.

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