John Townsend
Public Relations Manager, DC
O: (202) 481-6820 (ext. 4462108)
C: (202) 253-2171
jtownsend@aaamidatlantic.com

The Week

The summer driving season, which was like no other, due to the continuing COVID-19 pandemic, is in the rear window. Since last Friday, the national average, along with the averages for the District of Columbia and the Washington, D.C. metro area has decreased by several cents. In the new weekly report from the Energy Information Administration (EIA), gas demand decreased again, helping pump prices to decline. Low demand will likely help pump prices to continue their descent as summer fades to fall. 

 

The gas price average in the District of Columbia is $2.28, down four cents in the last week and down 34 cents from a year ago. The gas price average in the Washington, D.C. metro area is $2.23, down one cent in the last week and down 24 cents from this date last year.

 

Today’s national gas price average is $2.20, down two cents in the last week, up three cents in the last month, and down 36 cents from this time last year.

 

CURRENT AND PAST GAS PRICE AVERAGES

Regular Unleaded Gasoline (*indicates record high)

 

Today

Week Ago

Year Ago

National

$2.20

$2.22

$2.56

Washington, D.C.

$2.28

$2.32

$2.62

D.C. Metro

$2.23

$2.24

$2.47

Crude Oil

$37.33

per barrel

(9/11/20)

$39.77

per barrel

(9/04/20)

$54.85

per barrel

(9/13/19)

 

Beset by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the 2020 summer driving season is now in the history books, as of the Labor Day holiday weekend. It was like a will-o'-the-wisp, an elusive goal that leads one on, but is impossible to reach. That was the case for some skittish travelers suffering from wanderlust and cabin fever, but worried about venturing to super-spreader locales, including beaches and large parties. Now the markets and refineries are poised to switch-over from producing summer-blend fuels to winter-blends by the end of September, and motorists can expect lower pump prices in the days ahead.

 

In the summer solstice period from Memorial Day to Labor Day, motorists paid a national average price of $2.15 for a gallon of unleaded regular gasoline. That is the cheapest average summertime price point for consumers since 2004. In the weekly period from the Labor Day holiday weekend, pump prices averaged $2.33 for a gallon of unleaded regular gasoline blend in the District of Columbia. The Washington, D.C. fuel market posted profit margins above $1 per gallon this week, reports the Oil Price Information Service (OPIS), which provided daily fuel price data to AAA. During the current week, the District ranks second among the top 10 best earning metro markets for retailers in the nation.

 

Fuel demand is dropping after the long Labor Day holiday weekend and gas prices, as well as demand, will continue to fall after the autumn switchover process. During the coronavirus pandemic, “flying has declined substantially more than driving,” according to AAA and other analysts. Air traffic surged over the last holiday weekend of summer. But it was still down nearly 60%, compared to the Labor Day holiday weekend in 2019.

 

Over three million persons were screened at the nation’s airports and flew to their destinations during the Labor Day holiday weekend. “Passenger volume on the busiest day of the Labor Day weekend was up 30% from the busiest day of the July Fourth holiday weekend,” reports the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). The TSA workforce screened nearly 969,000 passengers on Friday, September 4, and more than 935,000 passengers on Monday, September 7. “Those two days represent the most individuals screened on any single day since March 17, 2020,” reports the TSA.  Heading into fall, business travel on airlines is down 90%.

 

At the close of NYMEX trading Friday, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil settled at $37.33 per barrel, $2.44 lower than last Friday’s close. Domestic crude prices decreased after EIA’s weekly report revealed that total domestic crude inventories increased, signaling that crude demand is starting to decline. Crude prices may continue to drop if production does not rebalance to meet lower demand ahead of fall, which typically sees fewer drivers hitting the roads for trips due to colder weather. 

 

The Weekend

“Summer may be fading into the rearview mirror, but less expensive gas prices are not,” said John B. Townsend 2nd, manager of Public and Government Affairs for AAA Mid-Atlantic. “Moving into fall we traditionally see a drop in demand and further savings at the pump. This year that means pump prices could possibly push even lower then we’ve already seen in 2020.”

 

The Week Ahead

Motorists saw plenty of savings at the pump from Memorial Day through Labor Day. The national gas price average during the unofficial start and stop to summer was $2.15 – the cheapest since 2004. Demand was decimated this summer, which ultimately meant increased supply and cheap gas prices. That trend continues. Conditions in the tropics could change that, however, as the very active hurricane season continues.

 

AAA has a variety of resources to help motorists save on fuel:

Next Weekend Gas Watch: Friday, September 18, 2020

 

Follow us on Twitter: @AAADCNews

Like us on Facebook: AAA Mid-Atlantic News

 

Washington, D.C. Mailing Address:
1405 G Street NW
Washington, DC 20005

AAA provides automotive, travel and insurance services to 60 million members nationwide and nearly 82,000 members in the District of Columbia.  AAA advocates for the safety and mobility of its members and has been committed to outstanding road service for more than 100 years.  The not-for-profit, fully tax-paying member organization works on behalf of motorists, who can now map a route, find local gas prices, discover discounts, book a hotel and track their roadside assistance service with the AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad and Android. For more information, visit  http://aaa.com

TEDx Wilmington Salon

Who's in the Driver's Seat? The Transformation of Transportation

On Tuesday, October 17, 2017, AAA and TEDx Wilmington held the first TEDx Salon dedicated to ideas worth spreading in transportation.

This event had:

  • 12 live talks given by 13 speakers
  • 368 people in attendance at the live event
  • More than 7,500 viewed the event online through Livestream, viewing events, and on the AAA Associate network
  • Online viewers came from all 50 states and approximately 30 countries around the world

View a slideshow from the event

This TEDx WilmingtonSalon was organized in partnership with AAA

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