Gas prices in DC area lower than mid-June, but still a pain in the wallet

While it’s still a killer on your wallet, gas prices are starting to go down from record peaks earlier this month. In much of the D.C. area, the cost of gas has decreased by around 15 to 20 cents a gallon since June 13.

According to data from AAA, Sunday saw average gas prices in the District at $5.04 a gallon. That’s down from $5.26, which set a record on June 13.

Meanwhile in Maryland and Virginia, drivers are seeing a decrease of about 15 cents per gallon from the record prices set on June 14.  

“The price of crude has begun to drop a little bit. And we’ve also seen that demand has gone down a bit, as well,” said Ragina Ali, Public and Government Affairs Manager with AAA Mid-Atlantic.

Ali said broad market concern over economic growth around the world due to rising interest rates and inflation have been key factors with what has been happening with crude oil prices. In fact, a lower economic growth rate than expected could actually reduce crude demand and, in turn, continue to drive down oil and gas prices.

As for the drop in demand, it could be the higher than average gas prices that are keeping people off the road. But AAA is not seeing a huge difference in summer travel.

“From everything AAA is seeing, people are still traveling. They are still booking vacations, they are still taking road trips … But, just over the past week, we did see a slight demand drop on gasoline,” Ali said.

While demand may be down now, it likely won’t be for long.

“I would certainly fill up now,” Ali said. “Fill up now, if at all possible.”

For the upcoming July 4 holiday, 42 million Americans are expected to drive at least 50 miles from their homes, according to AAA forecasting.

“We do sometimes see gas prices start to go back up again as we approach a holiday. And demand increases as well,” Ali said.

While we are seeing a little relief from the record highs of two weeks ago, gas prices are still up about $1.85 over this time last year.

Luke Lukert

Since joining WTOP Luke Lukert has held just about every job in the newsroom from producer to web writer and now he works as a full-time reporter. He is an avid fan of UGA football. Go Dawgs!

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