ATLANTA — Labor Day is quickly approaching and gas prices for the holiday weekend are lining up to be the lowest in two to three years, according to the auto club AAA.
However, there are still a number of factors that could push prices higher before the holiday.
The average price Monday for gasoline in Georgia was $2.42 per gallon. Drivers are currently paying 28 cents less than they did on Labor Day 2018 ($2.70) and 27 cents less than on Labor Day 2017 ($2.69).
"Labor Day travelers will benefit from lower oil prices this year as they fill up for their holiday road trip," said Montrae Waiters, a spokeswoman for AAA. "Strong U.S. oil production rates are holding oil prices about 15% below last year's levels, effectively reducing the price of producing gasoline. Gas prices should remain low heading into the holiday, unless something unexpected threatens fuel supplies, like geopolitical tensions or a hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico."
The most expensive Georgia metro markets were Atlanta at $2.47 per gallon, Hinesville-Fort Stewart at $2.46 and Macon at $2.45.
The least expensive Georgia metro markets were Catoosa-Dade-Walker at $2.22 per gallon, Dalton at $2.23 and Augusta-Aiken at $2.28).
Labor Day marks the end of the busy summer travel season, and the last big surge in gasoline demand before the fall, AAA said. The expectation of strong demand can promote a slight and temporary bump at the pump before the holiday, the club said. However, after Labor Day, refineries begin their seasonal switch to winter-blend gasoline. Summer-blend gasoline is more expensive to produce than winter-blend, because the EPA requires more additives in the hotter months of the year. The combination of lower demand and fuel production costs typically restores downward pressure on pump prices through the end of the year, AAA said.