Business, Economics and Jobs

Labor Day gas prices no picnic for US drivers


Two men in a boat pass a gas station flooded from Hurricane Isaac's storm surge on the north shore of Lake Ponchartrain on August 30, 2012 in Slidell, Louisiana.


Mario Tama

Don’t expect a holiday at the pumps just yet, with gas prices rising slightly today ahead of the Labor Day long weekend across North America.

The average US price climbed .03 cents to 3.83 per gallon, CNN reported.

Today’s slight bump at the pump puts August prices 9.4 percent higher than they were in July.

You can thank Hurricane Isaac, fire at a Chevron refinery in California and worldwide economic instability for the increase, CNN said.

However, that doesn’t mean prices won’t soon dip, The Associated Press reported.

Experts predict prices will drop in September, meaning it won’t happen before you load the family into the Vista Cruiser and head for Six Flags.

“We’re in the ninth inning of this,” oil industry analyst Tom Kloza told the AP.

Don’t believe it? Well, who can blame you?

You are correct if you think today’s gas prices are the highest they’ve ever been at this time of year, the news service said.

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“It has been a really tough summer for drivers nationwide with high gas prices breaking daily records,” said Avery Ash, AAA spokesperson. “Every week there seems to be something new driving up gas prices, whether it is a major refinery fire, a pipeline closure or a Gulf Coast hurricane.”

Some other fun facts from AAA:

  • National average gas prices increased 30.8 cents or 8.75 percent a gallon in August. This was the largest monthly price increase since April 2011.
  • Gas prices in August increased steadily from a low of $3.51 a gallon on August 1 to a high of $3.82 a gallon on August 31. This was largest August price increase since 2005, when prices increased 33.5 cents a gallon.
  • The average price of gas in August was $3.69 a gallon, which was the second-highest average on record for the month. The highest monthly average on record for August was $3.77 a gallon in 2008.
  • Prices have increased 53 out of 60 days after reaching a summertime low of $3.33 a gallon on July 2.
  • The average price of gas in 2012 is $3.62 a gallon, which is slightly more than the average of $3.56 through August 31 in 2011. The average price of gasoline in 2012 currently is on track to be the highest annual average ever. The average price of gas over the previous five years is $3.06 a gallon.
  • Those on the West Coast, Alaska and Hawaii are hardest hit, with prices averaging $3.97 to $4.32, AAA said.

You don’t have to tell that to 25-year-old Dayna Linares of Venice, California.

“I’m not getting a receipt. I’m not looking,” she told the Los Angeles Times as she gassed up for a trip to San Diego. “I really don't want to know how much it is.”

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