Gasoline prices in Pennsylvania will likely hit the $3-per-gallon mark this week, their highest level since 2014.
Rising gas prices are partly the result of high demand, said Jim Garrity, a spokesperson for AAA East Central, which includes Pennsylvania and nearby states. The demand for gas right now nationwide is greater than any other April on record.
“That’s on the back of a stronger economy,” Garrity said. “That’s what has given consumers the confidence to say, ‘Yeah, we can take that trip this year,’ or, ‘We can go visit the family and not have to worry about the gasoline prices.’”
On top of demand, he said climbing crude oil prices are also at play. The price of oil tanked in 2014 and 2015 amid a global oversupply, but it’s ticked back up since last summer.
Pennsylvania has the highest gas tax in the nation, which accounts for why the average gas price here -- $2.97 on Tuesday -- sits 11 cents higher than other Mid-Atlantic states, Garrity said.
It may continue to rise as the summer travel season gets underway. As a result, Garrity said families with road trips on the horizon should plan accordingly.
“It’s a good thing to keep in the back of your head now, that you may be spending an extra $10 to $20 on the gas tank,” he said. “That’s where you can start saying to yourself, ‘What are we going to do to save some money on our summer trip? What am I going to do in my daily life to cut down on how much gasoline I’m using?’”
This story was published in partnership with StateImpact Pennsylvania, a collaboration between WESA, Allegheny Front, WITF and WHYY, to cover the commonwealth’s energy economy. Read more stories at StateImpact Pennsylvania's website.