Gas Prices Hit Highest Ever Summer Average This Week

gas prices august 2012

Gas prices hit an all new summer high this week, something that may not be news to you if you’ve been at the pumps any time since the most recent spike.

Gas prices had a national average of $3.72 this week (although here in metro New York today, I personally paid $4.08 a gallon), and prices even topped out the previous record of $3.71 during the same time period in 2008. In contrast, last summer, gas prices averaged $3.57 at this time in 2011.

And if you keep an eye on gas prices, there’s more unpleasant news ahead as Labor Day and one of the biggest travel weekends of the summer — as well as a predicted hurricane and hurricane season in general — approaches.

The national average for gas prices could climb to $3.78 per gallon for Labor Day, higher than both 2008 and 2011’s gas prices for the same period. The highest price recorded nationally for gas prices was back in 2008, when in April of that year, $4.11 a gallon gas was the astronomical national average.

Drivers in Montana, Wyoming, Utah and Idaho are seeing decreases in gas prices, but drivers in the remaining 46 states are not expected to get a break through the summer season. According to the Seattle Post Intelligencer, a rise in prices of oil from $96 per barrel from $78 in late June for reasons including seasonal demand for gasoline is to blame, and AAA spokesman Michael Green says:

“It would take a significant decline in the price of gasoline for most Americans to feel comfortable with what they pay at the pump.”

The paper says that heading into the home stretch of the election season, gas prices are expected to be a talking point, even if Fox News has said time and again in the past that presidents cannot control the price of gas.