Gas prices dropping across state, nation as turkey day approaches

Across the state and nation, AAA and GasBuddy are showing prices at the pump are falling as the Thanksgiving holiday approaches.

Two entities that track gas prices across the state and nation are showing gas prices are falling as the Thanksgiving holiday approaches.

Gas prices in Michigan are down 7 cents compared to a week ago, dropping the state average to $2 a gallon as many prepare for the Thanksgiving holiday, according to AAA. Michigan drivers are now paying an average of $2 per gallon for regular unleaded, which is 6 cents less than this time last month and 54 cents less than this time last year, AAA said.

Motorists are paying an average of $30 for a full 15-gallon tank of gasoline; a discount of $14 from when prices were their highest last July.

In the new weekly report from the Energy Information Administration, gas demand decreased from 8.76 million barrels per day to 8.25 million barrels per day. The drop in demand, alongside an increase in total domestic stocks by 2.6 million barrels to 228 million barrels, helped the national average to decrease this week.

"As demand remains low, motorists in Michigan are seeing the lowest Thanksgiving week pump prices in five years," AAA spokeswoman Adrienne Woodland said.

GasBuddy reported just a week after gas prices rose for the first time in seven, the national average again declined, falling 1.5 cents per gallon over the last week to $2.10 Monday. That stat was compiled from more than 11 million individual price reports covering over 150,000 gas stations across the country. The national average price of diesel has gone up 0.9 cents in the last week and stands at $2.39 per gallon.

“With Thanksgiving nearly upon us and fewer Americans hitting the road, gas prices have seen some downward movement over the last week, even as oil prices hold near recent highs,‘ Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis for GasBuddy said. “We may end up seeing the lowest Thanksgiving prices in five years if prices continue to trend lower this week, a sign of how the coronavirus has sapped demand for the majority of the year."

Ahead of Thanksgiving, last week’s release of the GasBuddy 2020 Annual Thanksgiving Travel Survey found that only 35% of Americans will be taking to the roads this year, a decrease from 65% from last year, amidst some of the lowest Thanksgiving gas prices the country has seen in years.

Nearly half (46 percent) of respondents in the survey said that their travel plans are impacted by the coronavirus. When asked in what ways they were impacted, 71% said they are staying home instead of traveling this year. Five percent said they are not celebrating Thanksgiving this year due to the coronavirus. The remainder are either celebrating Thanksgiving at a different location this year (20%) or driving instead of taking other forms of transportation to their Thanksgiving destination (11%).

The most common U.S. gas price encountered by motorists was unchanged again at $1.99 per gallon, followed by $1.89, $1.79, and $2.09, according to GasBuddy. The average cost at the priciest 10% of stations stands at $3.02 per gallon, up 1 cent from a week ago, while GasBuddy said the lowest 10% average $1.64 per gallon, down 3 cents from a week ago.

The median U.S. price was unchanged at $1.99 per gallon, about 11 cents lower than the national average. The states with the lowest average prices: Oklahoma ($1.74), Texas ($1.75), and Mississippi ($1.76), while the highest-priced states were California ($3.15), Hawaii ($3.13) and Washington ($2.75), according to GasBuddy. 

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