Massachusetts Hits Five-Dollar-Per-Gallon Gas Ceiling
The average gas price reached $5 per gallon in Massachusetts on Tuesday, while nationally, the price was just a smidge lower at $4.96 per gallon. Both were all-time high prices.
AAA Northeast reported that rising oil costs and higher demand for gas will keep prices surging for the foreseeable future. Mary Maguire, AAA Northeast's Director of Legislative and Public Affairs, said the "trajectory upward" will continue as increasing crude oil prices and the conflict between Russia and Ukraine "ratchet up prices" at the gas pump.
Maguire said the traditional "busy travel season" has resulted in "a lot of demand" for gasoline which also helps to drive prices higher. She said "demand increased a lot over the Memorial Day Weekend" as people "pent-up by the pandemic" took to the roadways. Maguire said demand will increase even more when "the Cape gets rocking and rolling" for the Fourth of July holiday.
Maguire said many people are "stressed financially" and are "changing their driving behavior." Some are working from home, while others are consolidating trips and shopping for the best deals on gas. She recommends motorists use "points and rewards programs" that can save money.
Maguire said a "sustained spike in prices" will take a "sizable chunk" out of many people's incomes which could lead to "demand destruction," a permanent downward shift in demand for gasoline, perhaps in favor of electric vehicles.
The weather could have a lot to do with how rapidly gas prices increase.
"A hurricane can have a major, major impact on gas prices," Maguire said. Hurricane season runs from June 1 to November 1.
Maguire said prices could stabilize a bit by mid-to-late July "at the end of the peak travel season," but they could also continue to rise.
AAA Northeast recommends keeping your vehicle in good repair, including the tires properly inflated to reduce the amount of gas you burn while driving.