Summer gas prices expected to remain high

By Heather Meade hmeade@civitasmedia.com

June 7, 2014

DARKE COUNTY - Gas prices have reached as much as $3.99 a gallon, and this is just the beginning of summer, when fuel prices tend to trend upwards, according to a recent release from GasBuddy.com.

Part of this trend is due to a special ‘summer blend’ gasoline, but it’s also attributed somewhat to location, as the Midwest experiences a number of issues, said Cindy Antrican, AAA representative.

“It’s no secret that the annual climb in gas prices that accompanies the transition to ‘summer blend’ gasoline rattles many cost-conscious consumers…but there’s also no denying the benefits both visible and invisible,” the release stated.

‘Summer blend’ gasoline is blended to burn more cleanly than conventional gasoline, which reduces emissions and is required to be used in larger metropolitan areas such as the Cincinnati metro area, and areas like California, but everyone feels the effects on the price of their gasoline, said Antrican; the summer blend isn’t the only reason that prices are higher for those in the Midwest, though, they noted; refinery issues, supply bottlenecks and logistical issues have all contributed to the “sometimes dramatic fluctuations.”

AAA is forecasting that prices will remain relatively high this summer, with prices varying from $3.55 to $3.70 per gallon, but prices are currently higher in Ohio than 41 other states, with an average price of $3.85, according to GasBuddy.com.

“While it is impossible to predict the exact price of gasoline, we can guarantee that millions of Americans will pay high prices as they hit the roads this summer,” said Cindy Antrican, AAA. “Expect a feeling of déjà vu with gasoline costing about the same as last summer. After such a long, brutal winter, it seems that many drivers took advantage of the great weather in May. Significantly stronger than expected gasoline demand has kept prices high heading into the summer driving season.”

The height of gasoline demand generally hits between July 4 and August, causing gasoline prices to rise higher; AAA is expecting that trend to continue, Antrican said. In 2013, Antrican reported that gasoline consumption from June to August was approximately 5 percent higher than during the rest of the year. It makes sense, with Americans driving an estimated 788 billion miles during the summer months last year, demand for fuel is expected to remain high, she added.