Summer forecast: High gas prices in the Northeast

Erica Morello

To prepare for the months ahead, full of bumper-to-bumper beach traffic or the hot commute to your summer job downtown that causes you to stick to the seat, it is important to check the outlook for summer gas prices.
Although we had a mild winter for weather and snow, it certainly was not a vacation from high gas prices. In January, it was very common to think that $1.20 was a rip off for gas, but that seems like a dream compared to the prices during these current spring months.
On April 8, the Energy Information System, reported an average of $1.38 for New England’s retail gas prices, and that was just for regular grade. In fact just last week, AAA Southern New England’s Fuel Gage Report said that prices in Mass., RI, and Conn. rose another three cents.
While gas stations all over New England are spending time switching those gas station signs to show their price increases, the rest of us are wondering what is the summer going to be like? How much will we spend on gas over the summer?
Motor gasoline is expected to be at an average $1.46 from now until September, which was stated in the Energy Information Administration’s report in April 20002. These high prices are due to a number of reasons. One, an increase in the United States demand for gasoline, two higher world oil prices and three, OPEC resistance for output of oil.
Not only are summer gas prices estimated to reach $1.46, but this rough number is still not as high as last summer’s gasoline prices. Last year, the gas prices were about 8 cents lower, which was about $1.54 on an average.
This all can be quite confusing. Although this summer’s gas prices are supposed to be less than last summer, these current and future summer prices are the third highest increase in history.
Projecting the summer’s gas prices is not the easiest estimation to make according to the EIA, but the government is trying to predict as accurately as possible, while keeping a close eye on the increase.
Spencer Abraham, US Energy Secretary is the one for this job and plan on watching the consumer prices, causing many headaches in Washington. Adding to their headache is Iraq’s early week decision to take a break on their exportation of oil, obviously something that will need to be monitored in the US crude oil supply.
The EIA has given their $1.46 estimate for the summer months a head nod to reassure the customer that this is what they should expect as they pull up, pay and pump.
For more information on these and other gas prices, go to