Media Contact: Matt Skryja
Walnut Creek, June 15, 2011
Drivers are rejoicing as pump prices across California continue to drop. According to AAA, which tracks gas prices as a service to consumers, every Northern California metro area tracked by the organization saw a double digit decrease at the pump over the past month.
The Golden State’s average for a gallon of regular, unleaded gasoline is $3.94, down 32 cents since last month’s AAA report on May 10. For perspective, that’s 86 cents higher than California’s average price on this date last year. Among all 50 states, California now has the fourth highest state average price for regular, unleaded gasoline. Alaska is first and Hawaii, Connecticut, and Illinois are tied for the second highest average price, while New York is third.
Northern California gas prices are now averaging $3.92, down 33 cents from last month. In the San Francisco Bay Area, motorists can expect to pay an average price of $4.02, which is a 30-cent drop. The national average price of $3.70 is down by 25 cents, which is $1.00 more than the national price on this date last year, when it was $2.70.
“Consumers continue to experience welcome relief at the pump as gasoline markets in the U.S. are returning to relatively lower prices,” explained AAA Northern California spokesperson Matt Skryja. “Gasoline demand is down over the last week after it steadily rose for the four weeks prior. Speculation about where oil demand might go for the second half of 2011 continues to cause controversy worldwide.”
At its meeting last week in Vienna, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) was unable to come to a consensus about whether its members should increase oil production to meet the rising global demand forecast for the remainder of 2011. The meeting ended in confusion and without consensus on production levels which is unusual for a group that relies on unification to influence the market. The Saudi Oil Minister has now said that his country will meet the needs of the market regardless of the disagreement. This action is expected to apply downward pressure on crude prices. OPEC member countries collectively hold 79 percent of global crude oil reserves and account for 44 percent of global production. The United States imports almost six million barrels per day of crude oil from OPEC countries, accounting for nearly a third of U.S. consumption.
The least expensive average price in Northern California can be found in Marysville, where regular is $3.78. Of all the metro areas in Northern California where gas prices are tracked by AAA, Eureka’s average price of $4.17 is the highest. The highest price reported by AAA in the lower 48 states is in Chicago, Illinois, where the average is $4.18. The least expensive gasoline in the country is found in the metro area of Greenville, Spartanburg, and Anderson, South Carolina, where the average price of gas is $3.37. Wailuku, Hawaii, holds the dubious crown for the highest average price in the nation, at $4.40 per gallon.
One way consumers can reduce the amount of money they spend on fuel is to shop aggressively for the lowest price. AAA now offers text alerts via mobile phone for low gas prices in your area. Sign up today at www.aaa.com/gas.
AAA’s Fuel Gauge Report is the most comprehensive retail gasoline survey available, with over 100,000 self-serve stations surveyed everyday, nationwide. Data is provided in cooperation with OPIS Energy Group and Wright Express, LLC.
AAA Northern California offers a wide array of automotive, travel, insurance, DMV, financial services and consumer discounts to nearly 4 million members. AAA has been a leader and advocate for the safety and security of all travelers since it was founded more than 100 years ago.