Drivers in California will pay more this Labor Day weekend for gasoline than they ever have in the past for this time of year, according to numbers from the Automobile Club of California.
According to the Automobile Club of America (AAA) affiliate, the current $4.39 per gallon price of regular gas in California is a new record high for the Labor Day weekend, up from $3.23 a year ago. The current national average is at $3.184.
Jeffrey Spring, a spokesman for the Automobile Club of California told FOX Business that the prior highest average price for regular on a Labor Day Weekend was in 2012, when it was at $4.16. "That year there were a few refinery fires on the West Coast that crimped supply in addition to high oil prices," he recalled.
HOW IS HURRICANE IDA IMPACTING GAS PRICES
Spring said he expects the pain at the pump for Californians to ease soon due to an expected decline in demand after the summer travel season ends. Prices might also drop, he said, when California gas stations switch to their winter blend of gas at the start of November, which is around 8-10 cents less expensive per gallon than the summer blend.
The average price of gas in the U.S. has continued to climb since the beginning of last year, and deadly Hurricane Ida hitting the critical refinery areas of the Gulf Coast in recent days sparked concerns that shortages could drive prices even higher. Prices have edged up nationally by an average of roughly 5 cents over the past week.
AAA told FOX Business that while there's plenty of gas to go around, pain is not expected to ease this weekend across the country.
"Outside of Ida-impacted areas, gasoline supply is ample for holiday road-trippers, who should expect to pay the most expensive Labor Day weekend gas prices since 2014," AAA said.