Gas prices soared to a seven-year high, reaching a nationwide average of $3.42 as of Tuesday, according to data from the American Automobile Association.
That’s 16 cents higher than a month ago, or $1.31 more than a year ago, and 80 cents more than in 2019, according to AAA.
Given a typical 15-gallon gas tank, that means Americans are spending on average about $19.65 more each time they go to the pump compared with the same time a year ago.
California continues to top the nation’s most expensive markets at $4.62 a gallon, followed by Hawaii ($4.33), Nevada ($3.95), Washington ($3.87), Oregon ($3.77), Utah ($3.72), Alaska ($3.71), Idaho ($3.69), Washington, D.C. ($3.61) and Illinois ($3.60).
Michigan experienced the largest weekly increase in gas prices at an additional 16 cents a gallon, followed by Ohio (+14 cents), Indiana (+11 cents), Arizona (+7 cents), New Mexico (+5 cents), Illinois (+5 cents), Minnesota (+3 cents), Oklahoma (+3 cents), New Hampshire (+3 cents) and Texas (+2 cents).
Gasoline demand has been steadily rising over the past few weeks and is the reason behind the price increases, AAA says.
The prices are likely to continue increasing if demand increases as supply constraints remain the same, largely because of decisions made by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries.
OPEC had decided in July to boost crude output by 400,000 barrels each month until at least April 2022. The collective met in October and decided to continue the increased rate established in July rather than further boosting the supply to meet demand.
But some possible good news: Daylight saving time may reduce gas demand, relieving some of the soaring gas prices.
“Not everybody loves changing their household clocks for the end of daylight saving time,” Andrew Gross, a AAA spokesperson, said in a statement. “But the shorter days could lead to lower demand for gas. Drivers may head straight home from work to avoid the darkness rather than tack on side trips for shopping or errands.”
Michelle Shen is a Money & Tech Digital Reporter for USA TODAY. You can reach her @michelle_shen10 on Twitter.