Minnesota gas prices dip, but fewer people are on roadsGas prices in the Northland just before the long July Fourth holiday weekend are $1 a gallon lower than before Memorial Day.
By: John Myers, Duluth News Tribune
Gas prices in the Northland just before the long July Fourth holiday weekend are $1 a gallon lower than before Memorial Day.
Gas prices across Minnesota averaged $3.34 per gallon for unleaded regular self-service Tuesday, according to minnesotagasprices.com, the same average among Duluth stations. Prices across the state ranged from $3.15 to $3.49, generally below the national average prices of $3.49.
Prices are a nickel a gallon lower than at this time last year.
AAA reported Tuesday that gas prices on average have hit a five-month low and continue to drop across the nation.
“Rising gasoline supplies have pushed average prices nationally below the psychologically important level of $3.50 per gallon just in time for one of the busiest travel periods of the year,” AAA spokesman Avery Ash said in releasing the agency’s annual travel statement. “Millions of Americans will be relieved to save a little extra money as they travel for Independence Day.”
The organization predicts 34.4 million people will hit the road to drive at least 50 miles from home between now and Sunday. That’s a 0.7 percent drop from last year. Including people who travel by airplane, bus or train, 40.8 million Americans will travel this weekend, a 0.8 percent drop from 2012.
Refinery problems and tight gasoline supplies in May helped propel gas prices in parts of the Midwest to more than $4 per gallon, AAA said, including $4.39 per gallon for a time here in the Northland. Production has since increased resulting in significantly lower prices across the region, AAA said.
The national average price remains historically high, however, topped only by July Fourth prices of $4.10 per gallon in 2008 and $3.57 in 2011.