The rapid increase in gasoline prices that hit consumers hard nearly seven months ago in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina looks like a distant nightmare today.
In early August, just three weeks before Katrina battered the Gulf Coast, drivers were paying an average of $2.35 a gallon for regular gasoline. Within days of Katrina's destruction, gasoline prices shot above the $3 a gallon mark.
Today, fuel prices look comparatively cheap. The average price for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline stood at $2.24 on Tuesday. That was down 1 cent from three days earlier.
One month ago, a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline was selling for an average of $2.34, according to AAA, of Hawthorne, Fla. One year ago the average price was $1.91 a gallon.
The price of diesel fuel has held steady over the past week. The average price for a gallon of diesel was $2.55 on Tuesday, the same as a week earlier. One month ago the average price for diesel was $2.58 a gallon. One year ago, diesel fuel cost an average of $2.11 a gallon.
AAA surveys more than 85,000 self-serve stations daily and reports its findings on fuelgaugereport.com
On Sept. 8, one week after Katrina devastated New Orleans, the average price for regular unleaded nationally was $3.03 a gallon. Diesel fuel was selling for an average of $2.96 a gallon.
To fill a 20-gallon tank with regular unleaded gasoline would have cost $60.60. On Tuesday that fill-up would be $44.80.
The highest price found for regular unleaded gasoline was $2.89 a gallon in Coronado, Calif., according to GasPriceWatch.com. The lowest price was $1.63 in Gaffney, S.C.
During the week of Sept. 8, the highest price was $4.20 a gallon in Hawaii and the lowest price was $2.47 a gallon in Alabama.
You may e-mail Kathilee Grace at [email protected].