The average price for a gallon of gas was $4.822 nationally Saturday, according to AAA, continuing a steady decline after briefly topping $5 per gallon last month–but gas prices are still much higher than all prior July Fourth weekends, one of the most popular driving periods of the year.
The average national gas price was down 2 cents per gallon Saturday from Friday, 8 cents from a week ago and 19 cents from the highest-ever recorded price of $5.016 on June 14, according to AAA.
Gas cost more than $5 per gallon in just 10 states Saturday, a far cry from the 21 states that reached that milestone when prices peaked nationally last month.
AAA reports prices are falling the fastest in Texas, Arizona, Indiana and Delaware, all of which logged 13-cent declines over the last week.
But even if gas prices trickle down a few more cents before July 4, the national average will still be at a record high for the day, and it isn’t close.
Compared to recent years, the difference is even more drastic: AAA reported the average national price was $3.13 per gallon on July 4, 2021, $2.179 on July 5, 2020, $2.758 on July 5, 2019, $2.866 on July 4, 2018, $2.232 on July 4, 2017 and $2.278 on July 2, 2016, according to the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine.
Elevated gas prices aren’t stopping many Americans from traveling this holiday weekend: AAA forecasted last month 47.9 million Americans will travel more than 50 miles between June 30 and July 4, a 3.7% jump from last year, including a record-high 42 million by car, amid traveler frustration over airline flight delays and cancellations. The price of oil has surged as the Russian invasion of Ukraine has disrupted energy trade, with U.S. benchmark West Texas Intermediate crude up nearly 50% compared to a year ago. Airfares have surged alongside oil prices, rising 16.1% from April to May and up 37.8% compared to 12 months prior, according to the latest Labor Department data.
Record prices are coming to your backyards, too. A survey from the American Farm Bureau Federation released Monday found the average price for a July 4th barbecue for 10 people is up 17% from last year to $69.68.