A new summer travel forecast report from GasBuddy.com suggests that drivers will enjoy the cheapest Memorial Day and summer pump prices since 2005.
Currently, the average price in Erie for gas is $2.49/gallon, compared to the national average of $2.28/gallon, which is almost 50 cents less than this same time last year.
GasBuddy predicts Memorial Day weekend average prices might tick upwards a few cents in the coming days, as drivers hit the road.
Those prices, however, are still substantially lower than the highest-ever Memorial Day national averages: those prices hit in 2011, at a whopping $3.78/gallon!
“We have been dealing with an oversupply of crude oil for the last, about a year and a half now, and that has brought gas prices down substantially,” said GasBuddy senior petroleum analyst, Patrick DeHaan. “What really brought it down was something that took place in 2014, with the Saudis basically saying that they were going to take on the United States in terms of oil supply, they were going to ramp up oil production and now we are awash in oil. The price of oil is much lower and thus gas prices are much lower.”
In addition to high oil production, the weather also plays a role in keeping summer pump prices low.
“The relatively warm winter certainly caused less heating oil to be consumed along the north eastern United States,” said DeHaan, adding, “I do not think we will see these low prices repeat again next summer or the summer after that. So I think the best word of advice is to not delay, take advantage of the affordable gas prices and hit the road.”
GasBuddy’s forecast also suggests that more than 75% of Americans will travel this summer, a 2.2% increase over 2015. Nearly 79% of those travelers will do so by car this summer, versus 11% for planes, 1% by train, 6% by another mode of transportation and 4% who are not traveling at all.
DeHaan said demand for gas this summer could reach all-time, record high levels as more drivers take advantage of lower fuel costs. He projects that gas prices will hold in the mid-two dollar per gallon range in Pennsylvania throughout the summer.
Over the long weekend, DeHaan projects Americans will save an estimated $2.6 billion when gassing up their cars.