High Gas Prices Expected to Drop: Expert | NBC Bay Area

High Gas Prices Expected to Drop: Expert



    (Published Friday, May 2, 2014)

    There's a reason someone came up with the cliche, "pain at the pump."

    Across the country, Americans are paying the highest gas prices in more than a year, according to the AAA monthly gas price report issued on Wednesday. The national average of gas is $3.69 a gallon. Drivers in every state except Colorado are paying more at the pump than a month ago, AAA numbers show.

    “Drivers can’t seem to catch a break with gas prices rising nearly every day since February,” Avery Ash, AAA spokesman said in a statement. “Spring is generally the worst time of year to fill up the car, and high gas prices are hard on people hoping to take advantage of the warmer weather.”

    That said, there may be hope for the future. On Friday, AAA tweeted that gas prices posted its first three-day decline since February as "prices may have peaked." 

    And GasBuddy.com writer Patrick DeHaan wrote on Thursday that the "West Coast will likely see relief as wholesale prices have shed enough for me to believe that California has seen its peak price pass." Prices could drop by 40 to 50 cents by July.

    If that is true, Lou Sporleder, who was filling up in San Jose on Friday, would be hapy.

    "That would be nice," he said. "I fill up every five or six days. Fifty cents would be good."

    The price of oil fell below $100 a barrel Thursday for the first time in three weeks, as the price of gas reached a state average of $4.261, down ever so slightly from $4.263 the day before.

    Still, for now, the national average increased about 14 cents per gallon in April, which was the largest increase for the month since 2011. Still, the national average remains less expensive than peak springtime prices from recent years including $3.79 in 2013, $3.94 in 2012 and $3.98 in 2011, AAA reported.

    California is among the five states with the average prices. While Hawaii is the highest, with the average price at $4.38 per gallon, California comes in second at $4.26. Connecticute and New York comes in third and fourth place for high cost, according to AAA, with drivers paying $3.95 and $3.92 per gallon. Alaska is in fifth place at $3.47 per gallon.

    Mazen Rabah was filling up Friday morning in San Jose, where he said he pays "50 cents more here than I do in Ohio," where he lives. In the Bay Area, San Jose's average price is $4.23 per gallon vs. $3.98 last month; Oakland is $4.22 per gallon vs. $3.95; and San Francisco is $4.32 per gallon vs. $4.05.

    California - unfortunatey for those who need to fill up - earns another spot in the high ranking gas prices. The most costly place in the United States to fill the tank is the San Luis Obispo area, where motorists need to plunk down $4.36 per gallon to fill up.

    Folks in Great Falls, Montana get of "cheap," where the average prices of gas is $3.28 per gallon.

    AAA said that gas prices have shot up mostly because of relatively tight supplies caused by significant refinery maintenance, the regulated switchover to summer-blend gasoline and rising springtime demand.


      NBC Bay Area's Bob Redel contributed to this report.