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Diesel prices a mixed bag, gasoline continues to rise

Feb. 21, 2024
The week of Presidents Day, the national average for diesel prices was static at $4.109/gal., but U.S. gasoline prices increased 7 cents to $3.269/gal.

The steep diesel price increases nationwide last week leveled off by Presidents Day, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. The national pump prices for trucking's primary fuel remained at $4.109 per gallon on Feb. 20, which is 26 cents cheaper than this time last year, according to the government tracker.

While the national average remained level, various regions across the country saw swings in pump prices. The Rocky Mountain region experienced the highest diesel fuel cost increase of 15 cents, pushing prices to $3.957 per gallon. The Lower Atlantic sub-region saw the next highest price increase of 4 cents, reaching $4.189 per gallon, with the East Coast region increasing 3 cents to $4.240.

Meanwhile, price decreases, while more prevalent than last week, were also relatively minimal and ranged from 3 cents to less than a cent in total. In this case, the New England sub-region and the Midwest decreased by 3 cents, with New England’s fuel costs falling to $4.320 per gallon, while the Midwest hit $4.010 per gallon.

Overall, the Gulf Coast reclaimed its title of the cheapest place to buy fuel at $3.844 per gallon, and California is still the most expensive at $5.258 per gallon.

See also: What causes fuel inefficiencies and how to combat them

In comparison, the AAA motor club logged this week’s national average diesel price at $4.094 per gallon, much closer to the EIA’s numbers. The AAA’s diesel prices have also increased 5 cents since last week. But they’re still not surpassing last year’s average at this time of year.

Gasoline prices continue slow and steady rise

While diesel prices saw a mix of increases and decreases in the last week, gasoline costs rose across the board. Currently, the EIA logged the national gas average at $3.269 per gallon, an increase of 7 cents from a week ago and down 11 cents from the year before.

In general, gasoline pump price increases ranged from 2-13 cents at most. The New England sub-region saw the smallest price increases and landed with gas prices of $3.164 per gallon. The Rocky Mountain region bore the brunt of fuel price increases this week, rising 13 cents to $4.922 per gallon. The Lower Atlantic sub-region saw the second-largest rise in gas prices (9 cents), reaching $3.177 per gallon.

Despite the increased fuel costs across the country, the Gulf Coast is the cheapest area to purchase gasoline fuel at $2.901 per gallon. Meanwhile, California is the most expensive at $4.467 per gallon.

For context, AAA’s current national gas average is $3.276 per gallon, which is more expensive than last week by 5 cents. But this week’s average is also still 14 cents better than this time last year.

According to a press release from AAA, the organization claimed that part of the reason for increasing gas prices is a BP-Whiting refinery in Indiana, which has been shut down for over two weeks due to a power outage. Once the plant is operational again, explained Andrew Gross, AAA spokesperson, “we should see more regular seasonal price increases,” the company stated.

About the Author

Alex Keenan

Alex Keenan is an associate editor for Endeavor's Commercial Vehicle Group, which includes FleetOwner magazine. She has written on a variety of topics for the past several years and recently joined the transportation industry, reviewing content covering technician challenges and breaking industry news. She holds a bachelor's degree in English from Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colorado. 

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