Cumberland Times-News

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July 3, 2014

Independence Day gas prices highest in six years

— Although the national average price of gas has remained relatively steady, even dropping slightly this week, as we approach the Independence Day holiday, prices at the pump remain at a six-year high for this time of year. 

The national average price for regular unleaded gasoline dropped to $3.67 per gallon Thursday, down a penny since the same day last week and is on par with one month ago, but 19 cents more per gallon than a year ago. 

Independence Day gas prices have not been this high since prices topped $4 per gallon in July 2008.  In comparison to previous Independence Day holidays, motorists will face prices that are the highest since 2008, with today’s average of $3.67 surpassing the holiday’s price per gallon from 2013 ($3.48); 2012 ($3.34); 2011 ($3.57); 2010 ($2.74); and 2009 ($2.62).

AAA projects 41 million Americans will journey 50 miles or more from home during the Independence Day holiday weekend, a 1.9 percent increase from last year and a nearly 14 percent increase compared to the Memorial Day holiday weekend. 

Automobile travel nationwide is projected to be at its highest level since 2007, with more than eight in 10 (34.8 million) celebrating their freedom with a road trip. 

The Independence Day holiday travel period is defined as Wednesday, July 2 to Sunday, July 6.

Travel by Marylanders is forecasted to increase by 1.6 percent compared to last year’s holiday, as over 828,000 residents are estimated to get away for the long weekend, the highest volume on record for Fourth of July holiday travel by Marylanders. 

Even with higher gas prices, road travel is driving this year’s growth as 718,000 residents are projected to drive to their destination, a nearly two percent increase from the 2013 holiday.

After topping $107 per barrel two weeks ago, crude oil prices have moved closer to the $104 mark (the lowest close in nearly three weeks) on signs the situation in Iraq, which is OPEC’s second largest oil producer, has somewhat stabilized. 

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