CHICAGO – For Labor Day weekend, American consumers in 45 states will likely see the highest fuel prices they’ve ever seen at this time of year. Only motorists in Alaska, Colorado, Montana, New Mexico and Wyoming will be spared from record-high prices at the pump.
“The average motorist will be laboring a bit more to pay for gas this Labor Day weekend. When you return to work after the Labor Day holiday, it might be a good time to ask your boss for a raise,” says Patrick DeHaan, senior petroleum analyst, GasBuddy.com.
“Although the end of summer driving season usually sends retail gas prices downward, they’ve got a long way to go before prices fall back to ‘tolerable’. While Tropical Storm Isaac begins to weaken, there are still enough upset motorists to think this was a category five storm.”
“The national average is at $3.80 per gallon, 18-cents more than where we were a year ago, and eight states had an average price yesterday at $4 per gallon or higher. Gas in New York City is averaging $4.06 per gallon; Los Angeles is at $4.15 per gallon and those are relative bargains compared to the $4.35 per gallon we’re paying now in Chicago.” DeHaan added.
“There’s no question that Hurricane Isaac’s timing and impact made a bad situation worse, forcing Gulf Coast refineries and others in its path to partial or full closures. But if there’s a silver lining, it’s that the record highs at the pump are likely to move lower through the weekend.
“Contrary to popular belief that prices always rise during major holiday weekends, analysis of Labor Day weekend prices from 2001 through 2011 shows that the national average price of gas actually declined in 10 of the last 11 years,” said Gregg Laskoski, senior petroleum analyst for GasBuddy.com. “In three of those years the decline was nominal; by 0.5 cents per gallon or less. In 2006, we saw the greatest decrease from the Friday through Monday (-3.3 cents per gallon). In 2002, it was the only year when Labor Day Weekend prices increased (+2.6 cents per gallon).”
GasBuddy operates GasBuddy.com and more than 250 similar web sites that track gasoline prices at more than 140,000 gasoline stations in the U.S. and Canada. In addition, GasBuddy offers a free smartphone app, which has been downloaded more than 20 million times to help motorists find gasoline prices in their area.