Gas Prices Are Headed Higher for the Holidays
Policy + Politics

Gas Prices Are Headed Higher for the Holidays

REUTERS/Kevin LAmarque

Get ready to pay a little bit more at the pump this holiday season.

Gas prices have been on the rise for the past three weeks, according to AAA, reaching $2.24 per gallon this week, the highest price since October and more than 10 percent higher than they were this time last year.

AAA attributes the increase to the recent announcement by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Companies (OPEC) to cut production next year, which should limit the supply of gasoline on the market.

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Prices are highest in the West, with drivers in Hawaii paying the highest price at the pump ($2.95). California drivers have the second-highest price per gallon ($2.67), followed by Alaska ($2.62) and Washington ($2.59). Even so, prices in California and Washington have declined recently, thanks to an increase in supply.

The lowest prices are found in the South and Southeast, with drivers in Arkansas and Oklahoma paying just $2.02 per gallon.

The uptick doesn’t seem to be affecting Americans travel plans. AAA projects that a record number of Americans -- more than 103 million -- will travel for the winter holidays this year, a 1.5 percent increase over last year.

For most of the year gas prices have remained below 2015 levels. AAA estimates that drivers have saved more than $27 billion so far this year compared to last year, thanks to lower gas prices. 

National Average Gas Prices