September 1, 2014

Higher pump prices expected for the 4th of July

WRN file photo

WRN file photo

Those traveling during the upcoming Independence Day weekend could be paying the highest holiday gas prices in six years.

The national average price of gas is currently 23 cents per gallon more expensive than it was on the Fourth of July last year. It’s also the highest price for gas on any Independence Day since 2008, according to Pam Moen with AAA-Wisconsin.

As of Friday, AAA reports the statewide average price of gas is $3.71 for a gallon of regular unleaded. It was $3.48 last year on the Fourth.

Gas prices have declined in the weeks leading up to the holiday in previous years, but that’s not the case this summer. Moen says prices have been on the rise over the past few weeks, due primarily to the ongoing violence in Iraq. Sunni militants have been sweeping through the northern half of the country, killing more than a thousand people and raising concerns that crude oil supplies could be disrupted in the major oil producing nation.

Despite higher pump prices, it’s not having a big impact on holiday travel plans. AAA projects nearly 40 million Americans will head out during the upcoming Fourth of July holiday. In Wisconsin, about 872,000 people are expected to travel at least 50 miles from home during the period that runs from next Wednesday through Sunday, July 6.

WRN’s Jackie Johnson contributed to this report.