The national average price of gasoline surpassed $3 per gallon for the 1,000th consecutive day for the first time on record on Sept. 17. In Gardner, a gallon of gas cost $3.35 on Sept. 23.
The nationwide average has been more than $3 per gallon since Dec. 23, 2010. The current $3 fuel streak for Kansas started Jan. 12, 2011 – or 979 days ago. Very soon – or on Oct. 7 – the Kansas average will have spent 1,000 consecutive days at more than $3 per gallon.
“Kansas’s fuel average hasn’t been above $3 per gallon quite as long as the national fuel average,” said James R. Hanni, Executive Vice President, public affairs for AAA Allied Group. “We’re on track to reach this milestone in three.”
Kansas fuel prices reached $3 per gallon for the first time in from 2005.
• 2005: Kansas motorists experienced $3 fuel for the first time Sept. 3 following Hurricane Katrina, which tugged the price of crude oil to a then all-time high above $70 per barrel.
• 2006: Tensions over the Iran nuclear program caused Kansas retail prices to revisit the $3 mark, on Aug. 4.
• 2007: Limited domestic supplies and strong demand pushed the price of crude oil above $90, and Kansas retail prices above $3 again on May 9.
• 2008: Market speculation drove the price of crude oil to more than $140 per barrel, an all-time high price for the commodity. Retail prices followed suit, as record high prices were achieved in the state ($4.02 on July 16) and across the country. By year’s end, the recession was underway resulting in retail prices falling to a five-year low. The Kansas average on New Year’s Eve, 2008, was $1.53 and has never been lower since.
• 2009: After falling to the five-year low in the $1.60 range, prices gradually moved back to the mid $2 range. The last time gas was under $2 was on May 5.
• 2010: Modest domestic and global economic recovery continued to fuel the recovery of crude and retail prices. The year began and ended with Kansas prices in the mid and high $2 range, respectively.
• 2011: Unrest in North Africa and the Middle East and market speculation pushed Kansas fuel prices to a near three-year high.
• 2012: Geopolitical tensions at the end of 2011 buoyed crude prices north of $100 per barrel in early 2012. Consequently, the year started with a statewide average of $3.12, the most expensive start of a year on record.
• 2013: Motorists experienced a 62-cent price surge the first two months of the year thanks to high crude costs and early refinery maintenance. The statewide average has spent 192 days – or 74 percent – of the year to date at or above $3.50 per gallon.
“The reality is that expensive gas is here to stay, which is a hard pill to swallow considering that most Americans rely heavily on their car to live their lives,” said Hanni. “As an advocacy organization representing the motoring public, AAA believes that this is an issue that our leaders need to address through policy that promotes alternative energy while stimulating production, limiting price volatility and ensuring greater efficiency.”
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.