RIVERSIDE, CA (CBS Newspath) – Millions of Americans are headed for their holiday destination this week. Many are hitting the road and seeing some of the highest gas prices in years.
AAA says 48.3 million Americans will drive for Thanksgiving – that is almost four million more than last year when the pandemic kept many people home, but those drivers are seeing much higher gas prices. The national average is up more than 60% in the past year. Gas-price analysts like Patrick De Haan at Gasbuddy.com say that as the economy reopened this year, the need for fuel increased, but oil production has yet to catch up. “Oil supply has lagged far behind, pushing up the price of oil to some of the highest levels in seven years.”
De Haan predicts the national average for gas will be $3.35 during Thanksgiving, but, he says, there is good news. Prices are starting to tick down and could continue to drop in the coming weeks. “I would expect the downward trend that’s just starting to gain momentum will last into early, potentially mid-December. It could run longer than that. Just depending on how supply and demand continue to fluctuate.”
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College student Raymond Sha is feeling the impact of the higher prices. He will be driving about 400 miles, from Southern California to the San Francisco Bay Area, to be with his family on Thanksgiving. He says this year it will be a pricy trip. “I just filled up my car last week and it was, like, 70 dollars for a full tank.”
Sha is looking for other students headed the same direction. “I’m looking to carpool with them and, you know, we split the gas price together, so it’s much cheaper,” he says.