TERRE HAUTE, IND. (WTHI) - Gas prices are just three cents away from being the highest they've been in more than seven years.
Currently, the national average price for a gallon of gasoline is $2.95, and local residents are beginning to notice.
Indiana gas prices are nearing $3.00; meanwhile, in Illinois, the average price for a gallon is more than $3.00. Patrick De Haan is the head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy. He says this rise in prices is normal for this time of the year.
There are several reasons gas prices are on the rise, many of which are out of our control.
"In the spring and summer, Americans start getting out as temperatures go up," De Haan said. "We get our vehicles out, whether that be old cruisers, motorcycles, boats, recreational vehicles, we are all out and about during the summer, and that causes higher demand and higher prices."
He says gas prices seem higher because of the dramatic decline of demand during the pandemic. When, in reality, they are not much higher than they were pre-pandemic.
"If you were to go back two years ago on this date, you would find the national average basically the same price it is today," he said.
Additionally, prices are rising because gas stations are transitioning into a summer blend of gasoline. This comes from the Clean Air Act passed many years ago in an effort to help protect the environment.
"If it's cleaner-burning, if it's better for the environment, then it costs more," he said. "The components of summer gasoline are a little bit more expensive. So, we tend to see a little boost."
De Haan says the good news is we should not be seeing any record high prices this summer.
"There is a very, very slim chance," he said. "Probably, less than a percent chance of seeing records. What is unfamiliar is if we hit the $3.00 threshold. We haven't hit that in most of the country in the last seven years."
If you'd like to see gas prices in your area and compare them to others, visit GasBuddy.com or download the app.