Posts Tagged ‘AAA Expert’

Jeanette Casselano

Today’s national average price for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline is $2.42, which is an increase of 13 cents over last month and 29 cents more than this time last year. As gas prices continue to reach new heights and hit an all-time high for the year, the summer demand has not kicked in, meaning consumers can expect the price at the pump to continue to rise for coming weeks. Based on recent American Petroleum Institute reports, U.S. gasoline deliveries in March were the second highest March deliveries ever recorded, confirming the forecast that demand is on track for the summer.

Quick Stats

  • The nation’s top ten least expensive markets are: South Carolina ($2.12), Oklahoma ($2.15), Mississippi ($2.17), Tennessee ($2.17), Arkansas ($2.17), Alabama ($2.18), Louisiana ($2.20), Missouri ($2.22), Virginia ($2.23) and Texas ($2.26)
  • The nation’s top ten markets with the largest weekly increases include: Utah (+9 cents), Ohio (+7 cents), Idaho (+5 cents), Alaska (+5 cents), Massachusetts (+4 cents), Connecticut (+4 cents), Indiana (+4 cents), New Hampshire (+4 cents), Rhode Island (+4 cents) and Florida (+4 cents)

West Coast

The West Coast continues to lead the country with the most expensive gas: Hawaii ($3.08), California ($3.01), Alaska ($2.94), Washington ($2.91), Oregon ($2.77) and Nevada ($2.71).

Rockies

Across the region, the Rockies saw an upward trend in gas prices. Utah (+9 cents) and Idaho (+6 cents) landed on this week’s largest price increase list. Typically, during the summer time, the region becomes short on gasoline inventory and has a tendency to see prices move up rather sharply. Drivers in other parts of the region saw relatively small increases: Montana (+2 cents), Wyoming (+2 cents) and Colorado (+1 cent).

Great Lakes and Central States

Despite declines a week ago, drivers in the Great Lakes and Central States saw prices increase with Ohio (+7 cents) and Indiana (+4 cents) landing on this week’s top 10 list for largest increases. With the 12th most expensive gas in the country, Michigan consumers are paying $2.52 at the pump, up +2 cents from last week. Elsewhere in the region, gas prices remained stable. The latest Energy Information Administration report shows that the region’s refiners raised capacity by 23,000 b/d last week, while gasoline stocks in the region dropped by 1.5 million bbl to 56 million bbl. The decline resulted in the lowest posted inventory numbers for the region in nearly three months.

South and Southeast

With area market inventories jumping by 2.5 million bbl, gas prices in the South and Southeast remained steady on the week. High gasoline inventories and low demand are causing some markets to lower prices. Prices fell by one penny from a week ago in South Carolina, Texas, North Carolina, Georgia, Arkansas and Louisiana. As we await the onset of the summer driving season, AAA predicts there are plenty of opportunities for demand to tap into the country’s excess supply and the price of gas to continue to rise.

As on trend, this region carries the country’s least expensive gas prices: South Carolina ($2.12), Oklahoma ($2.15), Mississippi ($2.17), Tennessee ($2.17), Arkansas ($2.17), Alabama ($2.18), Louisiana ($2.21) and Missouri ($2.22). 

Mid-Atlantic and Northeast

This week, four states in the region landed on the top 10 list of biggest increases: Massachusetts (+4 cents), Connecticut (+4 cents), New Hampshire (+4 cents) and Rhode Island (+4 cents), while Pennsylvania ($2.64), Washington, DC ($2.55) and New York ($2.52) held their spot on the list of top 10 most expensive markets.

Consumers will likely continue to see gas prices increase as we enter the peak of summer driving season. Looking further ahead, there is early indication that the start of the Dakota Access Pipeline could impact Northeast gas prices with the potential for crude prices to rise as a result of more competition in the market looking to sell crude oil.

Oil Market Dynamics

At the close of trading last week, WTI crude oil futures fell $1.09 to settle just under $50 per barrel. One of the leading reasons for the drop was skepticism about whether the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and other producers would extend their pledge to cut output by 1.8 million bbl by another six months. In particular, the market is still unsure if Russia will agree to an extension deal beyond June 30, which could add dramatically to already bloated global inventories.

On Monday morning, U.S. petroleum futures were trading higher across the board, with WTI recovering after costly losses last week. This rebound follows last week’s EIA report that showed gasoline inventory building across the country, which can be attributed to higher import levels and blending activity. While spring stock-building is a normal trend to account for the peak summer demand, the counter-seasonal build is likely pressuring markets and increasing pump prices. Additionally, last week’s Baker Hughes oil rig count report showing the U.S. adding 5 rigs, bringing the total rig count to 688 — is further evidence of increased U.S. production. Traders will look closely at this week’s numbers from key indicators of supply to determine if the market will rebalance in the near term.

Motorists can find current gas prices along their route with the free AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad, and Android. The app can also be used to map a route, find discounts, book a hotel, and access AAA roadside assistance. Learn more at AAA.com/mobile.

Consumer Appetite for Electric Vehicles Rivals Pickups

April 18th, 2017 by Jessica Souto

ErinSteppAAA unveils top electric, hybrid and fuel-efficient vehicles

ORLANDO, Fla. (April 18, 2017) – Despite lower gas prices, a new AAA study reveals that consumer interest in electric vehicles remains high, with the survey showing that more than 30 million Americans are likely to buy an electric vehicle for their next car. With rising sales, longer ranges and lower costs, AAA predicts a strong future for electric vehicles, and announces the top electric, hybrid and other efficient vehicles in its independent, rigorous test-track evaluation.

Additional Resources

“With their lower ownership costs and compatibility with emerging autonomous technologies, electric vehicles are poised to be a key vehicle of the future,” said Greg Brannon, AAA’s director of Automotive Engineering. “Tesla — a standout in AAA’s evaluations — has helped widen the appeal of electric vehicles by showing they can be stylish, performance-focused and filled with cutting-edge technology.”

Despite the fact that gas prices are about 40 percent lower than five years ago, AAA found that consumer interest in electric vehicles and hybrids has not waned. In fact, the number of Americans interested in an electric vehicle approaches the number planning to purchase a pickup truck, with the survey showing that 15 percent are likely to buy an electric vehicle for their next car. Millennials are even more accepting of electric vehicles, with nearly one-in-five interested in going electric for their next car.

Concern for the environment remains the primary motivating factor for electric vehicle shoppers, but AAA also found that lower long-term costs, desire for the latest technology and access to car pool lanes are all influential. With their extended range and flexibility, hybrid vehicles are also desirable to Americans, with nearly one third (32 percent) likely to buy the gasoline- and battery-powered alternative.

Beyond electric and hybrid vehicles, AAA’s survey found that fuel economy remains a major purchase consideration for all U.S. drivers, with 70 percent rating it as an important factor in selecting any vehicle – equal to the importance of the cost, crash rating and performance – ahead of safety technology (50%), brand (48%), style, color and design (46%) and smartphone connectivity (34%).

With a focus on the future, the Automobile Club of Southern California’s Automotive Research Center rates and ranks electric vehicles, hybrids, compressed natural gas-powered (CNG), diesels and high fuel economy gasoline-powered vehicles for the annual AAA Green Car Guide.  Vehicles are rated on the criteria that matter most to car buyers, including ride quality, safety and performance.

“While desire for green vehicles is strong, making the leap to an electric, hybrid or other fuel efficient vehicles can be daunting to car shoppers,” said Megan McKernan, manager of Automotive Research Center. “AAA’s rigorous evaluations help take the guesswork out by providing an unbiased evaluation of these vehicles based on more than a dozen individual criteria.”  

In 2017, the following vehicles earned AAA’s Top Green Vehicle award:

Category Winner
Overall Tesla Model X 75D
Subcompact Car Chevy Bolt EV Premier
Compact Car Volkswagen e-Golf SE
Midsize Car Lexus GS 450h F Sport
Large Car Tesla Model S 60
Pickup Ford F150 XLT Super Crew
SUV Tesla Model X 75D

Winners, detailed evaluation criteria, vehicle reviews and an in-depth analysis of the green vehicle industry can be found at AAA.com/greencar.

While electric vehicles are an attractive option for car shoppers, AAA found that more than half of Americans are hesitant to make the switch due to “range anxiety” – the concern over running out of charge or having too few locations to charge a vehicle. This fear persists despite the fact that U.S. drivers report an average round-trip commute length (31 miles) and time (46 minutes) that are well within the range of the more than 100 miles of range that most electric vehicles offer.

“Range anxiety stems from seeing gas stations, not charging stations, on every corner,” continued Brannon. “While electric vehicles may not yet fit every lifestyle, the number of charging stations has quadrupled over the last five years and battery ranges support average commutes.”

To assist with range anxiety, drivers of electric vehicles can find the closest charging station via the AAA Mobile app or AAA’s TripTik Travel Planner. In 2017, charging station availability has grown to more than 15,000 locations across the United States.

Additional survey data, study methodology, infographics, photos and video can be found at NewsRoom.AAA.com.

As North America’s largest motoring and leisure travel organization, AAA provides more than 57 million members with travel, insurance, financial and automotive-related services. Since its founding in 1902, the not-for-profit, fully tax-paying AAA has been a leader and advocate for the safety and security of all travelers. Motorists can map a route, identify gas prices, find discounts, book a hotel and access AAA roadside assistance with the AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad and Android. Learn more at AAA.com/mobile. AAA clubs can be visited on the Internet at AAA.com.

Gas Prices Reach 2017 High

April 17th, 2017 by Jessica Souto

Tamra Johnson

Today’s national average price for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline is $2.41. This price is two cents more expensive than one week ago, 12 cents more than one month ago and 30 cents more than one year ago. The national average is at its highest price this year and has now increased for 20 consecutive days. Pump prices in 43 states and Washington D.C. have moved higher over the last week. This increase was most prevalent in the East Coast region where refiners wrapped up seasonal turnaround resulting in significant prices increases last week.

 

Quick Stats

  • The nation’s top ten least expensive markets are: South Carolina ($2.13), Mississippi ($2.17), Tennessee ($2.18), Alabama ($2.18), Arkansas ($2.18), Oklahoma ($2.18) Missouri ($2.19), Louisiana ($2.21), Kansas ($2.23) and Virginia ($2.23).
  • The nation’s top ten markets with the largest monthly increases include: Indiana (+18 cents), Texas (+18 cents), Michigan (+17 cents), Kentucky (+17 cents), Ohio (+16 cents), Illinois (+16 cents), Florida (+15 cents), Wisconsin (+15 cents), Colorado (+15 cents) and Delaware (+14 cents).

West Coast

The country’s six most expensive gas prices continue to reside on the West Coast (Hawaii $3.06), California ($3.01), Washington ($2.90), Alaska ($2.90), Oregon ($2.75) and Nevada ($2.69). Compared to this time last year, four West Coast states are experiencing some of the country’s biggest year-over-year price jumps: Washington (+58 cents), Alaska (+57 cents), Oregon (+54 cents) and Hawaii (+45 cents).

This region could see prices hit $3/gal this month due to maintenance at variety of refineries in the area, including Torrance’s refinery in Southern California and Shell’s Martinez California Refinery. Shell’s maintenance, which is scheduled for late April/early May, could tighten San Francisco Bay area refined products markets. In the Pacific Northwest, refined products supplies are expected to tighten as Tesoro’s 125,000-b/d refinery in Anacortes, WA, carries out an eight-week maintenance program; however, the company is expected to meet its obligations in the Oregon and Washington region by delivering product via barge.

Rockies

Gas prices in this region moved higher on the week: Colorado (+5 cents), Idaho (+4 cent) and Wyoming (+3 cents). Drivers in Colorado continue to see price increases resulting from planned and unplanned maintenance at Phillips 66’s 154,000 b/d Borger refinery in the Texas Panhandle. The refiner supplies gasoline to Colorado and parts of the Gulf Coast and Central States via pipeline.

Great Lakes and Central States

Drivers in some parts of the Great Lakes region experienced weekly declines at the pump: Michigan (-7 cents), Indiana (-7 cents), Ohio (-6 cents) and Illinois (-2 cents). Drivers in some Central states saw slight increases on the week: Nebraska (+2 cents), North Dakota (+2 cents) and Minnesota (+2 cents). Volatility in the region along with early turnaround by regional refineries resulted in significant monthly increases in: Indiana (+18 cents), Michigan (+17 cents), Kentucky (+17 cents), Ohio (+16 cents), Illinois (+16 cents) and Wisconsin (+15 cents).

The latest Energy Information Administration (EIA) report shows that Midwest refiners raised capacity by 23,000 b/d last week, while gasoline stocks in the region dropped by 1.5 million bbl to 56 million bbl. The decline resulted in the lowest posted inventory numbers for the region in nearly three months.

South and Southeast

South Carolina ($2.13), Mississippi ($2.17), Tennessee ($2.18), Alabama ($2.18), Arkansas ($2.18), and Louisiana ($2.21) are posting some of the cheapest prices for gasoline in the country despite recent increases in each state’s respective average price. As we enter into the high-drive season of summer, the demand for gas will increase, dipping into crude oil storage across the country and leading to increases at the pump through September. The latest EIA report shows regional refining capacity increased 102,000 b/d in the Gulf Coast last week while gasoline inventories dropped by 1.8 million bbl.

Mid-Atlantic and Northeast

Pennsylvania ($2.64), Washington, DC ($2.55), New York ($2.52) and Connecticut ($2.48) all land on the list of top 15 most expensive markets. The region made the final switch to summer-blend gasoline last week, causing states in the region to top the list of largest weekly increases: Delaware (+9 cents), Vermont (+6 cents), Maryland (+6 cents), North Carolina (+5 cents), Rhode Island (+5 cents), Maine (+5 cents) and Pennsylvania (+5 cents). Compared to this same time last year, New Jersey (+43 cents), Delaware (+36 cents), and Pennsylvania (+35 cents) are seeing significant increases at the pump. This trend is likely the result of the region’s move toward less substantial gasoline imports.

Oil Market Dynamics

Last week, crude oil futures held onto the week’s gains closing out above $53 per barrel. Competitive prices were led by reports that OPEC and non-OPEC compliance is above 90 percent and the countries are considering extending production cuts beyond June, the original end date for the agreement reached last November. Participating OPEC countries plan to meet on May 25 to discuss how an extension of their agreement could further rebalance global oil supply and inventory levels. 

Markets opened Monday morning with less confidence, countered somewhat by growing U.S. production. The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported a larger-than-expected decline in oil stockpiles last week showing growth in U.S. oil output. National crude oil output reached a one-year high of an estimated 9.1 million b/d in March this year. Last week’s Baker Hughes oil rig count report — which showed the U.S. adding 11 rigs last week, bringing the total rig count to 683 — is further evidence of increased U.S. production. Traders will continue to watch the impact that increased U.S. production has on OPEC’s efforts to rebalance the market. At the close of last week’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, WTI was up seven cents to settle at $53.18 per barrel.

Motorists can find current gas prices along their route with the free AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad, and Android. The app can also be used to map a route, find discounts, book a hotel, and access AAA roadside assistance. Learn more at AAA.com/mobile.

Tamra Johnson

Today’s national average price for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline is $2.39. This price is six cents more expensive than one week ago, nine cents more than one month ago and 35 cents more than one year ago. The national average is at its highest price this year and has now increased for 13 of the last 14 days. Pump prices in 48 states and Washington D.C. have moved higher over the last week, led by the switch over to more expensive summer-blend gasoline and increased driving demand.

Quick Stats

  • The nation’s top ten least expensive markets are: South Carolina ($2.11), Alabama ($2.14), Tennessee ($2.14), Mississippi ($2.14), Oklahoma ($2.15), Arkansas ($2.16), Virginia ($2.19), Louisiana ($2.19), Missouri ($2.20) and Texas ($2.21). 
  • The nation’s top ten most expensive markets are: Hawaii ($3.04), California ($2.99), Washington ($2.89), Alaska ($2.88), Oregon ($2.75), Nevada ($2.67), Pennsylvania ($2.59), Michigan ($2.57), District of Columbia ($2.54) and Illinois ($2.51).
  • The nation’s top ten markets with the largest weekly increases include: Kentucky (+15 cents), Florida (+12 cents), Michigan (+12 cents), Indiana (+11 cents), Alaska (+10 cents), Missouri (+9 cents), Pennsylvania (+9 cents), Illinois (+9 cents), Georgia (+7 cents) and Colorado (+7 cents).

West Coast

West Coast gas prices continue to prove the highest in the country, with six states in the region topping the list of most expensive U.S. markets: Hawaii ($3.04), California ($2.99), Washington ($2.89), Alaska ($2.88), Oregon ($2.75) and Nevada ($2.67). Pump prices in some states will likely breach the $3/gal mark by July.

Prices in the Northwest and California will continue to rise in the coming weeks due to refinery maintenance. BP’s Cherry Point refinery in Ferndale, WA, began maintenance work last week, which will result in tighter supply in the region. PBF Energy’s 157,800-b/d Torrance, CA, plant is also set to begin planned maintenance while production issues at Air Products Wilmington, a company supplying hydrogen to Los Angeles-area refineries has resulted in reduced supply of hydrogen. This supply shortage will impact gas processing abilities at impacted refineries.

Rockies

Gas prices in the Rockies remain the most stable in the nation. Prices at the pump fluctuated by only a few cents, except in Colorado where prices jumped 7 cents on the week. The increase is likely the result of planned maintenance at Phillips 66’s 154,000 b/d Borger refinery in the Texas Panhandle. The refiner supplies gasoline to Colorado and parts of the Gulf Coast and Central States via pipeline.

Great Lakes and Central States

Five Great Lakes and Central states saw some of the country’s most significant gas price increases in the past seven days: Michigan (+12 cents), Indiana (+11 cents), Missouri (+9 cents), Illinois (+8 cents) and Wisconsin (+7 cents).

Phillips 66’s 330,000-b/d Wood River refinery in Illinois is still undergoing planned maintenance work, adding to a growing list of refinery issues in the U.S. Midwest. In addition, BP’s 430,000-b/d Whiting, IN, refinery was experiencing a minor issue on its second-largest crude distillation unit, which was affecting normal operations, but should be remedied in a few days.

 

South and Southeast

The least expensive gasoline prices continue to flow in South and Southeast states, however, this region did see spikes in the last week. Kentucky saw the largest jump (+15 cents) in the country. Despite a 7 cent increase on the week, South Carolina ($2.11) continues to post the lowest prices in the country.

Mid-Atlantic and Northeast

Mid-Atlantic and Northeast states saw some fluctuations in the last week: Pennsylvania (+9 cents), Virginia (+6 cents), New York (+5 cents) and Connecticut (+5 cents). The region will continue to see a jump in price this week as stations make the final change over to summer-blend fuels.

Oil Market Dynamics

Crude oil futures opened Monday trading at their highest level in more than a month as a result of ongoing tensions in the Middle East. An oilfield in Libya was shut down on Sunday after an armed group blocked a pipeline leading to an oil terminal. The Libyan production outage means that one source for crude oil is compromised and may affect global oil supply. Crude oil also rallied and then leveled out following last week’s U.S. missile strike against a Syrian airbase amid fears that further unrest in the region could lead to oil supply disruptions.

Additional factors contributing to increased crude oil prices include high production cut adherence by OPEC and non-OPEC producers and the possibility that participating countries may extend their agreement beyond the June deadline. Traders will keep a close eye on political dynamics in the Middle East and any further discussions between OPEC and non-OPEC producers.  At the close of Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, WTI was up 54 cents to settle at $52.24 per barrel.

Motorists can find current gas prices along their route with the free AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad, and Android. The app can also be used to map a route, find discounts, book a hotel, and access AAA roadside assistance. Learn more at AAA.com/mobile.

Mariam Ali Contact TileAAA advises drivers to save $50 per month for car care fund

ORLANDO, Fla. (April 4, 2017) – According to a new AAA survey, 64 million American drivers would not be able to pay for an unexpected vehicle repair without going into debt, indicating that some drivers may underestimate the full cost of owning and operating a vehicle. Because some car repairs are unavoidable, and the average repair bill is between $500 and $600, AAA urges drivers to save at least $50 a month for unforeseen expenses, and identify a trusted repair facility before trouble strikes.

Additional Resources

“The average cost of owning and operating a vehicle is more than $8,500 a year, and AAA has found that millions of Americans are failing to set aside a car care fund to pay for the upkeep of their cars,” said John Nielsen, AAA’s managing director of Automotive Engineering and Repair. “To avoid a surprise down the road, drivers should budget for monthly payments, insurance premiums, fuel costs and the inevitable expenses of routine maintenance and repair.”

Although an average repair bill can set a driver back up to $600, the cost can soar higher when a vehicle has been poorly maintained. A previous AAA survey found that one-third of U.S. drivers skip or delay recommended service or repairs, which increases the likelihood of unexpected mechanical failures and leaves a vehicle more vulnerable to roadside breakdown. In 2016 alone, AAA responded to nearly 32 million stranded motorists.

“Anticipating your vehicle’s needs before problems strike is important,” continued Nielsen. “While it may seem that skipping maintenance and repairs can save money in the short term, staying on top of car care can save drivers hundreds of dollars in the long run.”  

Before a breakdown happens, AAA recommends that vehicle owners:

  • Follow the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedule to avoid roadside trouble.
  • Identify a repair shop you trust. A recent AAA survey found that one-third of U.S. drivers have yet to find a trusted repair facility. Visit com/autorepair to locate a AAA Approved Auto Repair facility near you.

If faced with an unexpected repair, AAA suggests that drivers:

  • Get a written estimate for the repair and clarify with the shop the work that needs to be done on the vehicle Consider getting a second opinion to confirm the diagnosis.
  • Negotiate the repair bill with the mechanic. Ask if the shop offers any discounts or payment plans that can reduce immediate out-of-pocket costs.

The AAA Approved Auto Repair (AAR) network consists of nearly 7,000 facilities that have met AAA’s high standards, including, technician certifications, ongoing training, financial stability, facility cleanliness, insurance requirements, rigorous inspections and customer satisfaction. AAA members are eligible for special benefits at AAR facilities, including priority service, a 24-month/24,000-mile warranty, discounts, free maintenance inspections, dispute resolution assistance and more. To locate an AAR shop in your area, visit AAA.com/autorepair.

As North America’s largest motoring and leisure travel organization, AAA provides more than 57 million members with travel, insurance, financial and automotive-related services. Since its founding in 1902, the not-for-profit, fully tax-paying AAA has been a leader and advocate for the safety and security of all travelers. Motorists can map a route, identify gas prices, find discounts, book a hotel and access AAA roadside assistance with the AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad and Android. Learn more at AAA.com/mobile. AAA clubs can be visited on the Internet at AAA.com.

Tamra JohnsonGas prices are on the move, reaching an average price of $2.33 per gallon for regular unleaded gasoline. Today’s price is four cents more than a week ago, one cent more compared to one month ago and 27 cents more than the same date last year. National gas prices have increased six of the last seven days. Although the increase in prices has been moderate, it is possible this trend could continue as refinery maintenance wraps up, more expensive summer-blend gasoline becomes available and driving demand increases this spring.  

Quick Stats

  • The nation’s top ten least expensive markets are: South Carolina ($2.04), Tennessee ($2.08), Mississippi ($2.08), Alabama ($2.09), Oklahoma ($2.10), Arkansas ($2.10), Missouri ($2.11), Louisiana ($2.12), Virginia ($2.13) and Texas ($2.15). 
  • The nation’s top ten markets with the largest weekly increases include: Ohio (+18 cents), Michigan (+16 cents), Indiana (+14 cents), Illinois (+11 cents), Wisconsin (+7 cents), Delaware (+7 cents), West Virginia (+6 cents), Kentucky (+5 cents), Oregon (+5 cents) and Georgia (+5 cents).

 

West Coast

Gas prices on the West Coast remain the highest in the country, with six states in the region topping the list of most expensive U.S. markets: Hawaii ($3.05), California ($2.98), Washington ($2.86), Alaska ($2.78), Oregon ($2.72) and Nevada ($2.66). Prices in the Northwest and California will continue to rise in the coming weeks due to refinery maintenance.

BP started planned maintenance at its 236,000-b/d Cherry Point refinery in Ferndale, Washington, last week, while PBF Energy restarted the hydrotreater unit at its 157,800-b/d refinery in Torrance, California, due to unplanned flaring last Monday. This week, the refinery begins major maintenance work which is expected to last 45-55 days and will likely tighten supply and increase California gas prices. Today, BP is also shutting down operations on its Olympic Pipeline until April 10 for planned maintenance. The shutdown will temporarily impact shipments of gasoline in the northern part of the region.

Rockies

Drivers in the Rockies are among the only ones in the nation to see moderate price declines. Prices in the region are often geographically insulated from movement tied to global crude oil prices and have generally been among the more stable in the nation.

Great Lakes and Central States

The Great Lakes and Central States are currently switching from winter-blend to summer-blend gasoline and drivers are seeing significant increases at the pump, with Ohio (+18 cents), Michigan (+16 cents), Indiana (+14 cents), Illinois (+11 cents), Wisconsin (+7 cents) and Kentucky (+5 cents) landing on the list of top 10 weekly increases.

Unplanned mechanical repairs and pipeline issues at Valero’s 172,000-b/d McKee and 103,000-b/d Houston refineries in the Texas Panhandle are impacting delivery and tightening supply in the Midwest region.

South and Southeast

Markets in the South and Southeast continue to post some of the lowest prices for retail gasoline in the nation, including South Carolina ($2.04), Tennessee ($2.08), Mississippi ($2.08), Alabama ($2.09), Louisiana ($2.12) and Texas ($2.15).

ExxonMobil’s 584,000-b/d Baytown, Texas refinery experienced operational issues last week due to severe weather. Valero also reports pipeline issues and unplanned mechanical repairs at both its 172,000-b/d McKee and 103,000-b/d Houston refineries, which has tightened supply in the Dallas area. OPIS reports that during past fuel-supply problems, the market pulled barrels of gasoline from Tyler, Texas and can also receive supply via pipeline from Corpus Christi.

Mid-Atlantic and Northeast

Prices in much of the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast regions have followed the national average the past week with Delaware (+7 cents), West Virginia (+6 cents) and Maryland (+4 cents), all landing on the list of largest weekly increases. The latest report from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) shows that regional gasoline storage levels dropped by 2.6 million bbl, the largest decline in the country. The region will switch from winter-blend to summer-blend gasoline by April 10 and drivers will continue to see increases at the pump.

Oil Market Dynamics

This morning, the market saw a bump following reports that Iraq plans to increase its production cut compliance as a part of OPEC’s output agreement. This announcement furthered speculation that OPEC and non-OPEC producers may extend their agreement beyond the original six-month deadline of June. The oil reduction deal was brokered last fall in an attempt to rebalance the global oil supply and boost the price of crude oil. While the agreement has lifted the price of crude oil to $50 per barrel, it has also encouraged U.S. producers to invest and drill more. Oil service company Baker Hughes reported that the U.S. increased its rig count by 10 last week, bringing the total to 662. Traders will keep a close eye on discussions between OPEC and non-OPEC producers and any decisions they make regarding further production cuts through the remainder of 2017.  At the close of Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, WTI was up 25 cents to settle at $50.60 per barrel.

Motorists can find current gas prices along their route with the free AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad, and Android. The app can also be used to map a route, find discounts, book a hotel, and access AAA roadside assistance. Learn more at AAA.com/mobile.

Tamra JohnsonNew AAA Survey Reveals Impact of Rising Gas Prices on Consumers’ Lifestyle

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Mar. 28, 2017) – A new AAA survey reveals that nearly a quarter of consumers believe the price at the pump is already too high. AAA projects the national average for a gallon of gasoline to increase 40 cents this summer, peaking near $2.70. To offset gas price increases, more than 70 percent of consumers say they would make everyday lifestyle or driving habit changes. The top five changes drivers would make include:

Additional Resources

  • Infographic 1 | 2 | 3
  • Combining errands or trips
  • Driving less
  • Reducing shopping or dining out
  • Delaying major purchases
  • Carpooling

However, not everyone will jump to make a change. The survey found that younger Americans (18-34) are more tolerant of higher prices.

“Higher gas prices are already influencing the travel industry,” said Bill Sutherland, AAA senior vice president of Travel and Publishing. “The good news is people are still planning to hit the road. With nearly 80 percent of family travelers planning a road trip this year, higher gas prices are making shorter trips to national parks and theme parks the most desired travel destinations.”

During April, Americans across the country will start to see gas prices begin to climb as the industry wraps up spring maintenance and completes the switchover to summer-blend gasoline. Over the years, public opinion for whether a gallon of gasoline would be too much or too cheap has fluctuated as much as the price itself.

  • When gas prices are above the $3.00 benchmark (as they were in 2013 and 2014), most Americans believe prices should be six percent lower.
  • When gas prices are below the $3.00 benchmark (as they were in 2015 and 2016), most Americans believe a 25 percent increase is too high.

This report presents the findings of a telephone survey conducted among two national probability samples (landline only and cell phone), which, when combined, consists of 1,017 adults, 510 men and 507 women, 18 years of age and older, living in the continental United States. Interviewing for this survey was completed on February 2-5, 2017. 517 interviews were from the landline sample and 500 interviews from the cell phone sample. This study has an average statistical error of ±3.1 percent at the 95 percent confidence level for all U.S. adults.

As North America’s largest motoring and leisure travel organization, AAA provides more than 57 million members with travel, insurance, financial and automotive-related services. Since its founding in 1902, the not-for-profit, fully tax-paying AAA has been a leader and advocate for the safety and security of all travelers. AAA clubs can be visited on the Internet at AAA.com. Motorists can map a route, identify gas prices, find discounts, book a hotel and access AAA roadside assistance with the AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad and Android. Learn more at AAA.com/mobile.

Tamra Johnson

Pump prices remain relatively stable, with today’s national average price for regular unleaded gasoline holding at $2.29 per gallon. Today’s average price is down by fractions of a penny compared to one week ago, but has moved one cent higher compared to last month. Drivers are paying 31 cents more per gallon at the pump compared to this same date last year.

 

Quick Stats

  • The nation’s top ten least expensive markets are: South Carolina ($2.01), Tennessee ($2.04), Alabama ($2.05), Mississippi ($2.06), Arkansas ($2.08), Texas ($2.09), Virginia ($2.09), Oklahoma ($2.09), Louisiana ($2.10) and Missouri ($2.10).
  • The nation’s markets that have seen the largest yearly increases include: Washington (+61 cents), Utah (+60 cents), Alaska (+58 cents), Idaho (+56 cents), New Jersey (+55 cents), Oregon (+54 cents), Hawaii (+51 cents), Montana (+44 cents), Pennsylvania (+43 cents) and Connecticut (+40 cents).

West Coast

Gas prices on the West Coast remain the highest in the country with six states in the region topping the list of most expensive U.S. markets: Hawaii ($3.07), California ($2.99), Washington ($2.85), Alaska ($2.80), Oregon ($2.68) and Nevada ($2.66). The latest US Energy Information Administration (EIA) report shows that gasoline inventories dropped to 29.027 million bbl for the week ending March 10, while regional refinery production increased 17 percent. OPIS reports that production increases are likely the result of the completion of a major 45-day turnaround at Phillips 66’s 107,500- b/d refinery in Ferndale, Washington.

Rockies

Gas prices remain stable over the past week with averages in most states moving by just fractions of a penny. The region is home to some of the largest yearly state increases: Utah (+60 cents), Idaho (+56 cents) and Montana (+44 cents). OPIS reports that recent increases near the Utah area largely resulted from a shutdown on the Wahsatch Pipeline, which negatively impacted refinery production in the region. Plains All American Pipeline completed repairs on the pipeline March 10.

Great Lakes and Central States

Volatility continues to characterize pump prices in the Great Lakes region. Some states reflected double-digit declines at the start of the month, only to see gains over the past seven days: Ohio (+6 cents), Indiana (+6 cents) and Michigan (+2 cents). Drivers in other states saw modest declines on the week: Iowa (-3 cents), Minnesota (-3 cents), Wisconsin (-3 cents) and Kansas (-2 cents).

OPIS reports that a unit fire has slowed production at LyondellBasell’s 302,300-b/d refinery in Houston, Texas. The refiner ships most of its gasoline to the Midwest through the Magellan Pipeline. Wolverine Pipe Line Company reports that the new Detroit Metro Access Pipeline (DMAP) is now in service and is transporting refined oil products from Chicago to Detroit.

Mid-Atlantic and Northeast

The East Coast saw a decline in gasoline supplies last week as refiners prepare to switch from winter-blend to summer-blend gasoline. Despite the decline in supply, prices in the regions remain stable on the week with Pennsylvania ($2.49), Washington, D.C. ($2.46), New York ($2.43) and Connecticut ($2.39) all landing on the list of top 15 most expensive markets in the country.

 

South and Southeast

Markets in the South and Southeast continue to post some of the lowest prices for retail gasoline in the nation, including South Carolina ($2.02), Tennessee ($2.04), Alabama ($2.05), Mississippi ($2.06), Arkansas ($2.08), Texas ($2.09), Oklahoma ($2.10) and Louisiana ($2.10). The latest EIA report shows that Gulf Coast crude oil inventories dropped 2.4 million bbl for the week ending March 10. The declines are the result of a nearly 500,000-b/d drop in regional imports last week. As mentioned in the Great Lakes/Central States summary, OPIS reports that a unit fire at LyondellBasell’s 302,300-b/d Houston, Texas, refinery resulted in production cuts. The refiner ships most of its product to the Midwest via the Magellan Pipeline.

Oil Market Dynamics

While prices have been flat in recent weeks, a long-term bearish sentiment continues to underscore the global oil market as speculation about the balance between OPEC cuts and U.S. production drives the market. Last Friday, OPEC’s Joint Technical Committee met to review compliance and participant’s level of adherence to the production cut agreement. Following the JTC meeting, Russia agreed to drop total production by 300,000 barrels per day by the end of April and pledged to maintain that level until the deal expires at the end of June. Saudi Arabia followed the compliance meeting with news that it may consider working with partner countries to continue the cuts beyond the June agreement deadline.

Even with OPEC’s compliance in the 90 percent range, U.S. production continues to cut into any rebalancing efforts by OPEC and non-OPEC countries. On Friday, oil service company, Baker Hughes, reported that the U.S. rig count increased again last week when producers added 14 drilling rigs, bringing the total rig count to 631 in the United States. Traders will continue to watch whether OPEC and non-OPEC members make moves to further cut production in an attempt to balance the global oil supply. At the close of Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, WTI was up three cents to settle at $48.78 per barrel.

Motorists can find current gas prices along their route with the free AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad and Android. The app can also be used to map a route, find discounts, book a hotel and access AAA roadside assistance. Learn more at AAA.com/mobile.

Gas Prices Make Slow 10 Day Decline

March 13th, 2017 by Jessica Souto

Tamra Johnson

After remaining relatively flat, the national average price for regular unleaded gasoline has now fallen for 10 straight days to today’s average of $2.30 per gallon. Today’s national average is one cent less than one week ago and two cents more than one month ago. Compared to this same date last year, consumers are paying 37 cents more per gallon at the pump.

Gas prices may continue to drop in the near future due to declining crude oil prices and a well-supplied market, but will begin to creep up again over the next month due to seasonal refinery maintenance and the May 1 required switchover for producing summer-blend gasoline. This prediction comes with the necessary caveat that an unexpected market-moving event, such as unplanned domestic refinery maintenance or further production cuts from OPEC and non-OPEC countries, could further impact prices and supply.

Quick Stats

  • The nation’s top five least expensive markets are: South Carolina ($2.03), Tennessee ($2.05), Alabama ($2.05), Mississippi ($2.07) and Arkansas ($2.09).
  • The nation’s most dramatic weekly change in prices include: Indiana (-11 cents), Ohio (-8 cents), Michigan (-8 cents), Kentucky (-8 cents) and Oregon (+8 cents).

West Coast

Most drivers in the West Coast saw increases at the pump this week: Oregon (+8 cents), Washington (+5 cents), Nevada (+3 cents), Alaska (+2 cents) and California (+2 cents). Maintenance continues at Phillips 66’s 107,500-b/d refinery in Ferndale, Washington, while most other regional refiners have already made the switch to summer-blend gasoline. The impact of refinery maintenance was evident in the latest Energy Information Administration (EIA) report, which shows West Coast refinery utilization dropping 0.4 percent and refinery crude inputs dropping 44,000 b/d to a total of 2.162 million b/d. The region continues to be the priciest in the nation with Hawaii ($3.07), California ($3.01), Washington ($2.84), Alaska ($2.79), Oregon ($2.68) and Nevada ($2.64) all topping the list of most expensive markets.

Rockies

Gas prices in the Rocky Mountain states are a mixed bag of increases and decreases on the week, with Utah (+7 cents) landing on the top five list of largest weekly increases. Plains All American Pipeline completed repairs on the Wahsatch Pipeline late Friday evening. The pipeline, which receives crude oil from locations near Evanston, Wyoming, and makes deliveries to refineries in Salt Lake City, shut down February 10, due to indications of soil movement. OPIS reports that many local refiners cut production rates and relied on crude delivery by trucks while the pipeline was offline.

Great Lakes and Central States

The latest EIA report shows a 69,000 b/d drop in gasoline production by regional refiners and blenders to 2.364 million b/d for the week ending on March 3. Local refinery issues are the likely cause of production declines. Phillips 66’s 330,000-b/d Wood River refinery is currently undergoing planned and unplanned maintenance. CITGO’s 185,200-b/d refinery in Lemont, Illinois, lost a compressor at a processing unit and ExxonMobil Inc.’s 260,000-b/d refinery in Joliet, Illinois, is undergoing unplanned maintenance due to undisclosed equipment failure.

Despite recent refinery issues, some drivers in the regions are seeing significant declines at the pump: Indiana (-11 cents), Ohio (-8 cents), Michigan (-8 cents), Kentucky (-8 cents) and Illinois (-5 cents).

Northeast and Mid-Atlantic

Prices in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast regions have remained relatively flat over the past week, moving by +/- 2 cents or less in most parts of the regions. According to the latest EIA report, regional gasoline inventories dropped by 3.8 million bbl. Pennsylvania ($2.49), Washington D.C. ($2.47) and New York ($2.43), remain on the list of most expensive markets in the country while Tennessee ($2.05) and Virginia ($2.10), both land on the top 10 list of least expensive markets.

South and Southeast

The Southern region continues to remain home to some of the nation’s lowest average prices for retail gasoline with six of the nation’s top 10 least expensive markets: South Carolina ($2.03), Alabama ($2.05), Mississippi ($2.07), Arkansas ($2.09), Texas ($2.10) and Louisiana ($2.10). The latest EIA report shows a drop in regional gasoline inventories as refiners prepare to make the switch to summer-blend gasoline.

Oil Market Dynamics

Crude prices declined again today as the global oil market remains oversupplied, and relatively high U.S. production levels continue to support bearish market sentiment. The possibility of continued production compliance by OPEC is likely to keep the market relatively fickle in the near term. Traders will continue to keep a close eye on OPEC compliance and U.S. supply and production. At the close of Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, WTI was down 79 cents to settle at $48.49 per barrel.

Motorists can find current gas prices along their route with the free AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad and Android. The app can also be used to map a route, find discounts, book a hotel and access AAA roadside assistance. Learn more at AAA.com/mobile.

ErinSteppNew AAA survey reveals that Americans still leery of a driverless future

ORLANDO, Fla. (March 7, 2017) – A new report from AAA reveals that the majority of U.S. drivers seek autonomous technologies in their next vehicle, but they continue to fear the fully self-driving car. Despite the prospect that autonomous vehicles will be safer, more efficient and more convenient than their human-driven counterparts, three-quarters of U.S. drivers report feeling afraid to ride in a self-driving car, and only 10 percent report that they’d actually feel safer sharing the roads with driverless vehicles. As automakers press forward in the development of autonomous vehicles, AAA urges the gradual, safe introduction of these technologies to ensure that American drivers are informed, prepared and comfortable with this shift in mobility.

Additional Resources

“A great race towards autonomy is underway and companies are vying to introduce the first driverless cars to our roadways,” said Greg Brannon, AAA’s director of Automotive Engineering and Industry Relations. “However, while U.S. drivers are eager to buy vehicles equipped with autonomous technology, they continue to fear a fully self-driving vehicle.”

In 2016, a AAA survey found that three-quarters of Americans reported feeling afraid to ride in a self-driving car. One year later, a new AAA survey found that fear is unchanged. While the majority are afraid to ride in a fully self-driving vehicle, the latest survey also found that the majority (59%) of Americans are keen to have autonomous features in their next vehicle. This marked contrast suggests that American drivers are ready embrace autonomous technology, but they are not yet ready to give up full control.

“U.S. drivers may experience the driver assistance technologies in their cars today and feel they don’t work consistently enough to replace a human driver – and they’re correct,” continued Brannon. “While these technologies will continue to improve over time, it’s important that consumers understand that today’s systems require your eyes on the road and your hands on the wheel.”

Additional survey findings include:

  • Half (54%) of U.S. drivers feel less safe at the prospect of sharing the road with a self-driving vehicle, while one-third (34%) feel it wouldn’t make a difference and only 10 percent say they would feel safer.
    • Women (58%) are more likely to feel less safe than men (49%).
    • Baby Boomers (60%) are more likely to feel less safe than Generation X (56%) or Millennials (41%)
  • The majority (59%) of U.S. drivers want autonomous vehicle technology in their next vehicle, while the remainder do not (25%) or are unsure (16%).
    • Millennials (70%) are the most likely to want the technologies, compared to Generation X (54%) and Baby Boomers (51%).
  • Three-quarters (78%) of Americans are afraid to ride in a self-driving vehicle.
    • Baby Boomers (85%) are more likely to be afraid than Millennials (73%) and Generation X (75%) drivers.
    • Women (85%) are more likely to be afraid than men (69%).

To educate consumers on the effectiveness of emerging vehicle technologies, AAA is committed to the on-going, unbiased testing of automated vehicle technologies. Previous testing of automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, self-parking technology and lane keeping systems has shown both great promise and great variation. This variation may be particularly concerning to consumers, with AAA’s survey revealing that 81 percent of Americans feel that automated vehicle systems should all work similarly and consistently across all vehicle manufacturers. Future AAA testing will look at how well systems work together to achieve higher levels of automation.

“Every year, we lose approximately 35,000 people on America’s roadways, most as a result of human error,” said Jill Ingrassia, AAA’s managing director of Government Relations and Traffic Safety. “Connected and automated vehicle technologies have the potential to dramatically reduce this number, and automakers, government agencies and safety organizations like AAA must continue working together to ensure that these new vehicles are safely tested and deployed.”

For additional information about the survey, including a fact sheet and infographics, visit NewsRoom.AAA.com.

As North America’s largest motoring and leisure travel organization, AAA provides more than 56 million members with travel, insurance, financial and automotive-related services. Since its founding in 1902, the not-for-profit, fully tax-paying AAA has been a leader and advocate for the safety and security of all travelers. Motorists can map a route, identify gas prices, find discounts, book a hotel and access AAA roadside assistance with the AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad and Android. Learn more at AAA.com/mobile. AAA clubs can be visited on the Internet at AAA.com.

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