Thanksgiving represents one of the heaviest travel times in the United States
The cost of gasoline across the United States is averaging $2.09 per gallon, as of November 23—that’s 73 cents lower than a year ago, and the lowest level ahead of Thanksgiving since 2009, according to the Energy Information Administration (EIA). Over the course of the last six Thanksgiving holidays, U.S. retail gasoline prices averaged $3.07, nearly a dollar more than the average price this year.
The Thanksgiving holiday (November 25-29) is typically one of the heaviest travel seasons in the U.S., according to information from AAA. According to the group, 46.9 million people in the U.S. will travel more than 50 miles from home, with nearly 42 million people traveling by car.
Gasoline prices have fallen 17 consecutive days leading up to the holiday season, according to AAA. Higher levels of throughput from refiners coming back online following both planned and unplanned maintenance in the Midwest has help to push prices lower following an increase due to unexpected outages.
The number of states with retail gasoline prices below $2 per gallon swelled by seven over the last week, with 18 states now reporting gasoline prices below the $2 mark.
Lower Crude Prices = Cheaper Travel
The drop in gasoline prices is directly linked to lower crude oil prices, said the EIA. Following OPEC’s decision last Thanksgiving to defend market share, the U.S. average regular-grade gasoline price has fallen $0.82 per gallon. The EIA anticipates that U.S. average retail gasoline prices will continue to decline for the remainder of the year and will average $2.06 per gallon in 2015, and $2.33 per gallon in 2016.
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