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

The Week

The end of the summer driving season, which is like no other in our lifetimes or collective memories, due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, is rapidly approaching. The Atlantic hurricane season is in full bloom. As another week passes with drivers seeing little movement in prices at the pump, AAA believes gas prices may have reached their peak price for the year, since the beginning of the pandemic, excluding any major hurricane activity that could disrupt gas and oil supplies.


Nationally, the average price for regular unleaded gasoline hit a summer high at $2.20 in mid-July. In the District of Columbia, the highest price recorded for the summer so far was $2.34 on July 22, while in the Washington, D.C. metro area it was $2.19 today.


The gas price average in the District of Columbia is $2.29, up two cents in the last week and down 46 cents from a year ago. The gas price average in the Washington, D.C. metro area is $2.19, up three cents in the last week and down 37 cents from this date last year.


Today’s national gas price average is $2.18, up a penny in the last week, down a penny in the last month, and down 42 cents from this time last year.



Regular Unleaded Gasoline (*indicates record high)






Week Ago


Year Ago










Washington, D.C.








D.C. Metro








Crude Oil



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per barrel




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During the summer of coronavirus, Americans were slated to take an estimated 683 million road trips in the period from July 1 to September 30, as AAA forecast. That compares to 706 million road trips during the same period a year ago or in 2019.


Curiously, this driving season has generally rewarded most gasoline marketers with decent rack-to-retail margins, but the impending loss of a large share of vacation travel now has retailers concerned, explains the Oil Price Information Service (OPIS), which provides daily fuel price data to AAA.


“Incredible as it may seem, COVID-19 headlines have dominated the air waves for six months and a return to normal commuting habits is not likely in autumn,” OPIS continues. “A number of marketers tell OPIS that the week of August 8-14 represented the strongest demand week since the March COVID shutdowns. But those same retailers spoke of a slight decline in the August 15-21 week with more attrition likely as schools reopen and August rentals end.”


At the close of NYMEX trading Friday, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil settled at $42.34 per barrel, 33 cents higher than last Friday’s close. Crude prices have been held lower as a result of concerns over this week’s jobless claims and what that could do to gasoline demand. Domestic crude prices decreased despite the Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) weekly report revealing that total domestic inventories decreased. So far, the minimal increases in crude prices have not had a noticeable impact on pump prices, but if prices stay above $45 per barrel for a prolonged period of time, consumers could see gas prices at their local stations increase.


The Weekend

“Gas prices have stalled at the vast majority of pumps,” said John B. Townsend II, AAA Mid-Atlantic’s Manager of Public and Government Affairs. “Concerns over employment numbers and the spread of the COVID-19 virus continue to keep prices for both gas and oil down, meaning we may have already seen the peak, since the beginning of the pandemic, for gas prices this year.”


The Week Ahead

The national gas price average has pushed only as expensive as $2.20 since the beginning of the pandemic, and that happened just one month ago. In the last four weeks, motorists have seen the national average slowly decrease, down to today’s average of $2.18 despite gasoline demand last week reaching the highest measurement since mid-March, according to the latest EIA weekly report. EIA expects gasoline will gradually decrease through the rest of the summer to an average of $2.04 per gallon in September before falling to an average of $1.99 per gallon in the fourth quarter.

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

Next Weekend Gas Watch: Friday, August 28, 2020


Follow us on Twitter: @AAADCNews

Like us on Facebook: AAA Mid-Atlantic News


Washington, D.C. Mailing Address:
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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

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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