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Nat'l Gas Price to Reach 1K Days Above $3

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OKLAHOMA CITY Okla_ The national average price of gasoline will surpass $3.00 per gallon Tuesday for the 1,000th consecutive day for the first time on record, according to AAA.

The current streak began on Dec. 23, 2010. AAA forecasts the national average will remain above $3.00 per gallon for at least another thousand days barring a major economic recession.

"Paying less than $3.00 per gallon for gasoline may be automotive history for most Americans, like using 8-track tapes or going to a drive-in movie," said Chuck Mai, spokesman for AAA Oklahoma. "The reality is that expensive gas is here to stay, which is tough on millions of people who need a car to live their lives. While a few lucky drivers may occasionally pay less than $3.00 per gallon, the national average is likely to remain more costly into the future."

Oklahoma is faring a bit better than the nation as a whole. The price of regular self-serve gasoline has remained above $3.00 per gallon in the Sooner State for just 241 consecutive days.

Today the national average gas price is $3.52 per gallon. Prices on average have remained above $3.50 per gallon for the majority of days during the current streak, and AAA projects the national average will remain higher than $3.50 per gallon tomorrow. Since the current streak began, consumers will have paid a national average of:

  • $3.25 per gallon or higher for 913 total days
  • $3.50 per gallon or higher for 643 total days
  • $3.75 per gallon or higher for 189 total days
  • $4.00 per gallon or higher for 0 days

"Motorists took notice when gas prices crept past $3 per gallon," said Mai. "The nation's leaders can help alleviate this economic burden by encouraging a national policy that stimulates domestic production, limits price volatility, ensures greater efficiency and promotes alternative energies, such as CNG."

Gas prices first surged above $3.00 per gallon for eight days immediately following Hurricane Katrina from Sept. 3-10, 2005. The longest previous streak above $3.00 per gallon was for 244 days from Feb. 17-Oct.17, 2008. The national average fell below $3.00 per gallon for 796 days from Oct. 18, 2008-Dec. 22, 2010 due to a weaker economy, which demands less gasoline and oil. The national average tomorrow will have remained above $3.25 per gallon for 265 consecutive days.

The national average price of gas so far this year is $3.57 per gallon, but this average should drop through December as demand declines during cooler months. Last year was the most expensive year on record with an annual average of $3.60 per gallon, followed by an annual average of $3.51 per gallon in 2011. The average U.S. household in 2012 spent $2,912 on gasoline, or just under four percent of income before taxes, according to the Energy Information Administration.

The most expensive daily national average during the current streak was $3.98 per gallon on May 5, 2011, while the lowest daily average was $3.01 per gallon on December 23, 2010.

Forty-six percent of adults believe gas is too high when it reaches $3.00 per gallon, according to a consumer index developed by AAA. Sixty-two percent believe gas is too high when it reaches $3.50 per gallon and 90 percent believe gas is too high when it reaches $4.00 per gallon. Sixty-two percent of Americans reported offsetting high gas prices by changing their driving habits or lifestyle.

AAA updates fuel price averages daily at www.FuelGaugeReport.AAA.com. Every day up to 120,000 stations are surveyed based on credit card swipes and direct feeds in cooperation with the Oil Price Information Service (OPIS) and Wright Express for unmatched statistical reliability.

A not-for-profit organization, AAA Oklahoma serves its 366,000 members across Oklahoma with emergency help on the road, auto travel assistance and a wide range of personal insurance, travel, financial and automotive services through branch offices, a regional operations center and the Internet at AAA.com.

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