Massachusetts hits $5-per-gallon gas cap

The average price of gas reached $5 per gallon in Massachusetts Tuesday, while nationally the price was just a little lower at $4.96 a gallon. Both were all-time high prices.

AAA Northeast said rising oil costs and increased gas demand will keep prices up for the foreseeable future. Mary Maguire, director of legislative and public affairs at AAA Northeast, said the ‘upward trajectory’ will continue as rising crude oil prices and the Russia-Ukraine dispute ‘drive prices up’ at the gas pump.

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Maguire said the traditional “busy travel season” has resulted in “strong demand” for gasoline, which is also helping to drive up prices. She said “demand spiked a lot over Memorial Day weekend” as people “turned away by the pandemic” hit the roads. Maguire said demand will increase even more when “Cape Town rocks and rolls” for the July 4 holiday.

Maguire said many people are “stressed financially” and “change their driving behavior”. Some are working from home, while others are bundling their trips and looking for the best gas deals. She recommends motorists use “points and rewards programs” that can save money.

Maguire said a “sustained spike in prices” would take a “significant chunk” of many people’s incomes, which could lead to “demand destruction”, a permanent drop in demand for gasoline, possibly in favor of electric vehicles.

Gasoline prices in Massachusetts hit $5 a gallon on Tuesday.

Barry Richard/Townsquare Media

The weather could have a lot to do with how quickly gasoline prices rise.

“A hurricane can have a major impact on gas prices,” Maguire said. Hurricane season runs from June 1 to November 1.

Maguire said prices may stabilize a bit by mid-July “at the end of the peak travel season”, but may also continue to rise.

AAA Northeast recommends keeping your vehicle in good condition, including properly inflated tires to reduce the amount of gas you burn while driving.

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Read on to explore the cost of gas over time and rediscover how much a gallon cost when you first started driving.

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