Georgia gasoline prices continue to decline; Cobb prices 12 cents more than statewide average

Gasoline pump resting in its cradleGasoline pump (Photo Cobb County Courier/Larry Felton Johnson)

Georgia gasoline prices continued to decline over the past week but Cobb County prices are 12 cents more per gallon than the statewide average.

According to the weekly press release from Montrae Waiters the spokeswoman for AAA – The Auto Club Group, Georgia drivers are now paying an average of $3.76 per gallon for regular unleaded.

“Georgians are feeling less pain at the pump than in mid-March when prices were record high- over 4 dollars a gallon,” said Waiters. “Although supply and demand factors typically support elevated pump prices, the fluctuating price of oil continues to be the main factor influencing prices at the pumps.

Prices in Cobb County

The price of a gallon of regular unleaded in Cobb County is $3.878 at the time of this writing, about 12 cents more expensive than the statewide average.

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When the gap between Cobb County and statewide prices began increasing, the Courier asked AAA’s Waiters why this might occur.

She responded with the following bullet points describing the typical reasons for price differences:

  • Gas prices vary by region and are influenced by state and local taxes, supply chain issues and operating costs.
  • For example, a gallon of gas is cheapest in the Gulf Coast region, where there are multiple oil refineries, low gas taxes, and efficient pipeline and railroad infrastructure.
  • The West Coast region has the highest average price of gas due to higher gas taxes and stricter clean energy standards than other regions. Since 2016, West Coast gas prices have been about 60 cents more expensive than the average in the other regions for the last five years.
  • Also, we have to factor what is happening in the global markets as well- which impacts all of us.

The only factors in the list above that might influence price average distances between counties within the same state are local taxes, supply chain issues, and operating costs.

We’ll continue to dig into this and report on it as we gather more information.

It is always possible to find lower gas prices than the average by comparison shopping or using tools like http://gasbuddy.com.

AAA’s weekly report stated the following about national gas and oil trends:

Since last Monday, the national average for a gallon of regular gasoline has decreased by 8 cents to $4.11. At the close of last Wednesday’s formal trading session, WTI dropped by $5.73 to settle at $96.23. Crude prices decreased after the Energy Information Administration (EIA) weekly report revealed that total domestic crude stocks increased last week by 2.5 million barrels to 412.4 million barrels, approximately 17 percent lower than the beginning of April 2021. 

Additionally, crude prices faced more downward pressure last week after the International Energy Agency’s (IEA) 31 member countries, including Mexico, Japan, Germany, and Canada, announced plans to release 120 million barrels of crude oil from their emergency oil stockpiles. 

The amount includes a previously announced 60 million barrels of oil from the U.S.  It would be the second coordinated release in just over a month in response to spiking oil prices after Russia invaded Ukraine. While the IEA said more details about the release would become available soon, including the release timeline, the announcement has helped ease some supply concerns, pushing crude prices lower.

How does AAA determine gas prices?

According to AAA:

AAA updates fuel price averages daily at www.GasPrices.AAA.com. Every day up to 130,000 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. All average retail prices in this report are for a gallon of regular, unleaded gasoline.

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