Oregon Gas Prices Hitting Highs for Travel Season
(Portland, Oregon) – The Oregon AAA said that gas prices in Oregon are starting to hit highs for the year, just as the big travel season begins.
Prices at the pump rose about four cents for regular unleaded nationally this past week to $2.89 per gallon, said AAA’s Marie Dodds. Oregon prices edged up about three cents to a little over $3 per gallon.
“The national average is the highest it’s been since May, while Oregon’s average is the highest it’s been since August,” Dodds said. “So far this year, the national average has peaked at around $2.91 and the highest point for Oregon’s average was about $3.04.”
Crude oil prices were slightly down this past week, after reaching about $87 per barrel, which was the highest level since October 2008.
“The performance of the U.S. dollar drove much of this volatility, a familiar pattern we’ve seen throughout the year,” Dodds said.
A stronger dollar mid-week sent crude prices lower. Dodds said crude oil is bought and sold in dollars and when the dollar strengthens, crude becomes less attractive to buyers using foreign currencies, and that tends to send prices down.
Gas prices are around 25 cents higher than this time last year. This is not keeping people home for Thanksgiving.
“AAA projects the number of Americans traveling for the Thanksgiving holiday will increase 11.4 percent from 2009, with about 42.2 million travelers taking a trip at least 50 miles away from home,” Dodds said. “And a whopping 94.1 percent of Thanksgiving travelers (39.7 million Americans or 12.7 percent of the population) are expected to travel by car, an increase of 12 percent over last year. In fact, 94 percent is the largest travel share in AAA’s recorded history for the Thanksgiving travel holiday.”
Eleven states in the U.S. have averages for regular unleaded that are at $3 a gallon or higher, which is up from eight states last week. Alaska is the most expensive, followed by Hawaii. California, Connecticut, Washington, South Carolina and Missouri are in that group, Dodds said. Oregon is the eighth highest in the U.S.