Gas Prices Extend Painful Record: July 4 Marks 1,290 Days above $3-a-Gallon

July 2, 2014 - 11:46 AM

This Independence Day weekend, drivers won't see any relief from high gas prices. Although prices retreated by a fraction of a cent at the beginning of the week, AAA predicts holiday travelers will pay the most at the pump since 2008.

In its monthly gas price report released June 30, AAA said, "With Independence Day only a few days away, today's national average price of gas is $3.68 per gallon. This average is considerably more expensive than recent years for the holiday. The national average on July 4 in previous years was: $3.48 (2013); $3.34 (2012); $3.57 (2011); $2.74 (2010); $2.62 (2009); and $4.10 (2008)." The motorist organization expected prices to remain high throughout the month of July, ranging from $3.60-$3.70 per gallon.

"Prices could climb higher if there are new developments in Iraq or a major hurricane," AAA warns.

Reasons for the higher prices include "market fear about Iraq," which it said kept prices from declining in June. However, AAA still forecast that 41 million Americans would travel over the holiday weekend, most of them (34.9 million) by road.

The still high gas prices would extend the record number of days the national average for gasoline has remained above $3-a-gallon. Unless prices drop nearly 70 cents a gallon, July 4th will be the 1,290th day above that mark. USA Today reported in September 2013 that, for the first time ever, gas prices had been higher than $3 a gallon for 1,000 consecutive days - beginning Dec. 23, 2010, through Sept. 17, 2013. That streak of three-and-a-half years has not been broken.

In the Western U.S., drivers have it even worse, according to Bloomberg Businessweek. On July 1, it reported regular gasoline was already more than $4-a-gallon on the West Coast.