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

The Week

One side-effect of the COVID-19 virus can be seen at gas pumps, both locally and nationally. Pump prices across the District of Columbia and metro area are between 19 and 24 cents lower than this time last year. If crude prices remain low, motorists will likely see continued relief at the pump during the run-up to spring as the world grapples with how to contain the global public health threat and financial risks associated with COVID-19. 


Today’s national gas price average is $2.30, down 10 cents in the last week, down 12 cents in the last month and down 21 cents from this time last year. 


On the first day of this week 14,000 gas stations and/or retail sites across the nation were selling gasoline under $2/gal, OPIS calculated. That figure was expected to double this week, as the markets reeled from COVID-19 jitters. By Friday, Texas emerged as the first state to post a statewide average price below $2 per gallon.  “It’s likely 40+ more states will join before March is over,” forecasts Tom Kloza with OPIS, which provide fuel price data for AAA.



Regular Unleaded Gasoline (*indicates record high)






Week Ago


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Washington, D.C.








D.C. Metro








Crude Oil



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per barrel




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At the close of NYMEX trading Friday, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil settled at $31.73 per barrel, $9.55 lower than last Friday’s close. It was a bumpy week as oil prices fell Monday by the most in one day since the 1991 Gulf War, bounced back up Tuesday then dropped again Wednesday and Thursday and finally gaining 23 cents by Friday as the market reacted to worries over the coronavirus, the Trump administration’s travel restrictions and the indecision by OPEC and its partners to reduce oil production. Until the price war ends and fears about the impact of COVID-19 on global crude demand subside, domestic crude prices are likely to remain low.


The Weekend

“Pump prices continue to decline as the global economy faces significant downward pressure from COVID-19 fears and the ongoing crude price war,” says John B. Townsend II, manager of Public and Government Affairs for AAA Mid-Atlantic. “Gas prices usually increase in the spring due to an increase in demand and lower supply, but this year drivers could continue to see lower prices.”


The Week Ahead

In addition to virus fears, an oil price war between Russia and Saudi Arabia has added to market concerns as both countries announced efforts this week to increase crude exports while global crude demand is forecasted to decline due to COVID-19. Dumping cheap crude oil into the frenzied global market could help both countries gain individual market share, but the reduced price for oil has forced domestic energy companies to slash budgets and investments. Although these events have pushed oil prices lower, to the benefit of consumers, continued oil market turmoil and sustained cheap crude prices could ignite further market erosion that leads to a recession.

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

AAA is the most comprehensive resource for gas prices.  Unlike the Lundberg Survey of 7,000 gas stations, AAA reports reflect actual prices from credit card transactions at more than 100,000 gas stations in the U.S.


Next Weekend Gas Watch: Friday, March 20, 2020



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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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