Motorists can expect to see gas prices over $3 a gallon in 2017 as prices spike comparibly higher than last year.
Automobile owners will pay $52 billion more over the course of the year compared to 2016 as the national yearly average rises to $2.49 per gallon, according to GasBuddy’s 2017 Fuel Price Outlook.
Gas prices in this region are already more than 40 cents higher than January 2016. The average price for a gallon at area stations is $2.29 today, an increase from $1.88 last year.
Other highlights of the GasBuddy report include:
• $355 billion will be spent on gasoline in the U.S. over the course of the year, $52 billion more than last year. That’s a considerable jump given that motorists saved $39 billion on gasoline in 2016 versus 2015.
• The seasonal switch from ‘winter-blend’ to ‘summer-blend’ as mandated by EPA and the Clean Air Act will bring a spike at the pump later this winter and spring, with the national average gas price rising between 35-60 cents between mid-February and a peak, likely to occur in May.
• $3 a gallon gasoline will be seen in at least the nation’s largest cities: Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, Washington, D.C. and Seattle, with a strong possibility of such prices also appearing in a majority of the nation’s twenty largest metros.
“The list of factors being mixed into the yearly forecast has never been larger. This year will see a new administration take over, perhaps the most oil-friendly in some time, and with so many unknowns in regards to policy changes, we’ll be keeping a keen eye on such along with taxation changes. But forecasting fuel prices, especially this year, remains a challenging balance of science and art,” said Patrick DeHaan, senior petroleum analyst for GasBuddy, in a release.