California no longer has the most expensive gas prices in the country

Thursday, June 22, 2023
California no longer has the most expensive gas prices in the country
California is notorious for its high prices on nearly everything, but the state no longer has the highest gas prices in the country.

Drivers in the state of Washington are celebrating the official start of summer with an unwelcome sight: America's most expensive gas prices.

The average cost of regular gasoline in Washington state has jumped by 32 cents over the past month to $4.93 a gallon, according to AAA. That's 7 cents ahead of California, which is notorious for its high prices for everything, especially fuel.

It's an unusual trend. California had held the unwanted title of America's most expensive state for gas for roughly 95% of the time over the last few years, according to Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy.

Prior to the past few days, Washington has never been the most expensive state for gas in data going back to 2005, GasBuddy told CNN. It's also the first time over that span that the Pacific Northwest state topped both California and Hawaii.

Even though Washington has the highest average price, gas stations near major California cities are still charging heavily for gas. Eight of the top 10 metro areas in America with the highest price at the pump are located in California, according to AAA.

Still, some drivers in Washington are paying well over $5 a gallon. In King County, where Seattle is located, the average for regular gas is $5.09 a gallon, according to AAA. Washington's Skamania County averages $5.32 a gallon.

Washington state's average gas price is nearly $2 a gallon above that of America's cheapest state for fuel: Mississippi, where gas prices average $3.01 a gallon.

The good news is that Americans are paying a lot less for gas than the first day of summer last year - even in Washington, where the average was $5.54 a gallon a year ago.

Nationally, the average price for regular gas is $3.58 a gallon, down $1.39 from this point last year. That drop reflects the plunge in oil prices amid worries about the economy and the Federal Reserve's war on inflation. In the wake of Russia's invasion of Ukraine, the national average hit a record high of $5.02 a gallon last June.

No state has enjoyed a bigger plunge in gas prices than Delaware, where the state average is down by $1.61 a gallon over the past year, according to AAA.

Michigan ($1.59), Indiana ($1.59), California ($1.53), Alaska ($1.53) and Texas ($1.51) have also experienced large price drops over the past year.

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