Thanksgiving Travelers Enjoy Lowest Gas Prices in Three Years
Thanksgiving travelers have a reason to celebrate this year as they have more transportation options than ever before. Whether driving traditional gas-powered vehicles or electric cars, people are benefiting from lower gas prices and overall energy costs. According to AAA, the national average gas price is currently $3.29, but as President Biden’s energy advisor, Amos Hochstein, points out, the “most common” price is closer to $2.95. This decrease in gas prices has made Thanksgiving travel more affordable and enjoyable for many Americans.
AAA predicts that this holiday weekend will see a significant number of travelers, with an estimated 55.4 million people hitting the road. This number represents the third-highest travel volume since AAA began tracking holiday travel data in 2000. It is worth noting that only 88.7 percent of the travelers will be using cars, amounting to approximately 49.1 million people. This forecast indicates a 2.3 percent increase compared to last year.
The decrease in gas prices has played a significant role in encouraging more people to travel this Thanksgiving. Over the past two months, gas prices have been steadily dropping, leading to greater affordability for consumers. Amos Hochstein attributes this decline to several factors, including the efforts of the Biden Administration regarding global conflicts and the utilization of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR). These efforts have successfully contributed to lowering gas prices, bringing them to their lowest levels since 2020.
Hochstein emphasizes that the $3.29 national average gas price does not reflect the reality for most consumers. He explains that the “most common” gasoline price across the country is below $3, around $2.95. While some areas might have higher prices, people have the choice to find lower-priced options. For example, in states like Alabama, where the average gas price is $2.87, there are numerous gas stations with even lower prices. Hochstein aims to further decrease gas prices, especially during the holiday season, as part of the Biden Administration’s commitment to providing relief for consumers and reducing inflation.
The developments in energy and infrastructure policies under President Biden’s administration have set the stage for a transition towards electric vehicles (EVs). Hochstein identifies three crucial policies that encourage the shift to electrification: the Inflation Reduction Act, the CHIPS Act, and the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. These policies stimulate EV growth, reduce costs, and invest in charging infrastructure, respectively. As a result, the country is on track to provide the best electric vehicle experience globally, incentivizing drivers to switch from gasoline cars to EVs.
In addition to the economic benefits, the rise of EVs brings stability to energy costs. Hochstein points out that while gasoline prices are frequently discussed, the prices of other energy sources, such as natural gas, wind, and solar, have also experienced significant decreases. As the country uses more electricity, the stability and potential decline in electricity prices serve as an advantage for EV drivers.
President Biden’s energy and infrastructure policies not only result in lower gas prices but also aim to reduce the impact of global conflicts on holiday spending. Hochstein emphasizes the importance of accelerating the energy transition to lessen dependence on Middle Eastern or Russian oil, ultimately ensuring energy security and mitigating national security concerns.
In conclusion, Thanksgiving travelers this year have the opportunity to enjoy the lowest gas prices in three years, thanks to various factors including President Biden’s efforts, declining global conflicts, and the availability of alternative energy sources. The decrease in gas prices has encouraged millions of Americans to hit the road, further supported by the improving affordability and availability of electric vehicles. As the nation sets its sights on an electrified future, the stability and declining cost of electricity promise an even better travel experience in the years to come.