HONOLULU (KHON2) — Nearly 35 million travelers hit the road for Memorial Day, according to the American Automobile Association, which said it’s the highest number since pre-pandemic times, despite the record prices at the gas pump.
Today’s national average for a gallon of gas is $4.62, which is 45 cents more than a month ago, and $1.58 more than a year ago. It’s still less than what Hawaii drivers see at the gas station.
On May 28, Hawaii reached its highest recorded average price for diesel at $5.919. On May 29, regular unleaded hit a record high of $5.445. According to the AAA, Hawaii is the nation’s second most expensive market, with California being first at $6.16 per gallon.
Of Hawaii’s metro average prices, Lihue had the most expensive prices, reaching its highest recorded average for both regular unleaded ($5.830 on May 28) and diesel ($6.399 on May 31).
“After several weeks of soaring gas prices, last week saw prices nationally slow down ahead of Memorial Day, but I’m afraid the good news ends there,” Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy, said in a news release on Tuesday. “While gasoline demand has been seasonally soft, the large decline in refining capacity over the last few years has meant that refiners are struggling to produce even lower amounts of refined products.”
According to De Haan, the continued decline in gas inventories in recent weeks has led to wholesale gas prices surging last week, which will likely boost prices at the pump in short order.
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“Odds are rising that we’ll eventually see the national average reach that dreaded $5 per gallon,” he said.