That’s how much the average gallon of gas might cost this week—crossing a threshold not seen since October 2014, according to AAA.
The national average for regular unleaded climbed 6 cents a gallon over the past week, reaching $2.96 on Monday amid increased demand and interest in travel. Compounding the price pressure is the recent shutdown of Colonial Pipeline, which carries 45% of the fuel consumed on the East Coast. Pipeline operators announced the closure Saturday, citing a cybersecurity attack, and on Monday said they were planning to reopen portions in a phased approach.
“The national average only increased a penny since the pipeline shutdown on Friday, but if the interruption continues it will contribute to increases,” Jeanette McGee, a AAA spokesperson, said in an email. “We are likely to hit $3/gallon as early as this week.”
The average fell as low as $1.77 during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic but rose as the economy rebounded and demand increased. Prices have now more than recovered from their pandemic slump, and besides the general increase in demand—and the pipeline issues—they typically get more expensive in the lead-up to Memorial Day Weekend, according to AAA.