Holiday Gas Prices
Travelers Paid Less
Larry Jewett - December 02, 2013 03:00 PM
Despite increase in regular-grade gasoline prices just before the holiday, the price of gasoline was lower than comparable periods. The U.S. Energy Information Administration said the price were lower than those seen at the pumps three months ago, 14 cents less than a year ago, and the lowest heading into a Thanksgiving holiday since 2010.
Traditionally, the Thanksgiving holiday accounts for the most heavily traveled part of the year in the United States. The American Automobile Association (AAA) estimates that more than 38 million people in the United States traveled more than 50 miles from home by automobile.
Gasoline prices vary by region and reflect differences in gasoline blends, taxes, and unique regional characteristics. West Coast prices typically exceed the U.S. average because of stricter fuel specifications in California and the region's relative isolation from other domestic markets. Higher prices in different areas of the East Coast can be attributed to varying taxes in each state.
Gulf Coast refiners produce 2.5 times more gasoline than is consumed within the region. Combined with lower state and regional taxes on gasoline, this supply abundance results in prices that are usually lower than the national average. Prices in the Gulf Coast registered a brief dip below the $3.00 mark on November 11, the first time since February 2011.