U.S. gasoline prices are now the highest that they’ve been in seven years, even as the summer driving season has drawn to a close, denting demand for the fuel.
U.S. gasoline demand has fallen for the fourth week in a row, but gasoline prices are climbing ever higher, spurred on by the refinery disruptions in the Gulf of Mexico caused by Hurricane Ida.
According to the Energy Information Administration (EIA), retail gasoline and diesel prices in the United States averaged $3.176 for the week ending September 6—the highest level since 2014.
For comparison, the national average gasoline prices this time last year were $2.211. In 2019, the average at the close of the driving season was $2.550—even before the pandemic.
And now, just as the oil and gas industry struggles to recover from Hurricane Ida, another storm—Tropical Storm Nicholas, is barreling towards the Texas Gulf Coast’s refining complex, threatening even higher gasoline prices.