New York () — Drivers in Washington state greet the official start of summer with some unpleasant news: they have the most expensive gas prices in the United States.
He average cost of regular gasoline in Washington state it has risen $0.32 in the past month to $4.93 a gallon, according to the American Automobile Association (AAA). That’s $0.07 more than in California, famous for its high prices for everything, especially gas.
It is an unusual trend. California had held the unwanted title of the state with the most expensive gasoline in the United States for about 95% of the time in recent years, according to Patrick De Haan, head of oil analysis for GasBuddy.
Prior to the past few days, Washington had never been the most expensive state for gasoline in data going back to 2005, GasBuddy told . It’s also the first time in that span that the Pacific Northwest state has surpassed California and Hawaii.
Although Washington has the highest median price, gas stations near major California cities still charge a lot for gasoline. According to AAA, eight of the 10 US metropolitan areas with the highest prices at gas stations are in California.
However, some Washington drivers pay more than $5 per liter. In King County, where Seattle is located, regular gasoline averages $5.09 a gallon, according to AAA. In Skamania County, the median is $5.32 a gallon.
The median price of gasoline in the state of Washington is nearly $2 a gallon higher than the cheapest state for fuel in the United States: Mississippi, where the average price of gasoline is $3.01 a gallon.
The good news is that Americans are paying much less for gasoline than they did on 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 of regular gasoline is US$3.58 a gallon, US$1.39 less than last year.
This drop reflects the collapse in oil prices amid concerns about the economy and the Federal Reserve’s war on inflation. Following the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the national average hit a record $5.02 a gallon last June.
No state has enjoyed a bigger plunge in gasoline prices than Delaware, where the state average has dropped $1.61 a gallon in the past year, according to AAA.
Michigan ($1.59), Indiana ($1.59), California ($1.53), Alaska ($1.53), and Texas ($1.51) have also seen large falls in prices in the last year.