MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) -How much did you pay the last time you filled up your car with gas? Probably more than you would have paid three months ago.
According to AAA Alabama, the winter weather may play a role. AAA Alabama’s Clay Ingram says the pandemic is much more of a driving factor behind Alabama’s average price, climbing 36-cents a gallon since Thanksgiving.
“Our prices were so low last year because our demand was so low. You know, everybody was quarantining and staying at home, and we just weren’t using much gas at all,” Ingram explained. “And then this ice storm that hit Texas and a lot of other parts of the country has had an impact on some of the refineries in the pipeline and things like that.
Ingram says these factors are going to cause a bit of a hiccup.
“But I don’t think it’ll be a major one, “ Ingram adds. “There are some people that are predicting huge jumps in our gas prices, but I don’t know. We’ll see a little bit of a jump, but I don’t think it’ll be anything huge.”
In fact, Ingram believes the increase in prices at the pump could actually be good news.
“I think it’s a sign of that there’s a lot of optimism out there, you know, the pandemic has caused us to be in a little bit of a recession, the past year and demand, it’s just been really low,” Ingram says.
There’s a lot of pent-up demand for travel, and Ingram says most people didn’t get to take their vacations last year.
“So, there’s a lot of people planning to take vacations this year, especially during the summer when people feel like things will be a lot better by summertime,” said Ingram. “And that translates into gas prices going up a little bit because investors are investing in Crude Oil Futures and things like that, in anticipation that demand will be high down the road. And I think there’s there’s a chance that it will be significantly higher than last year. Although I don’t think we’ll reach quite the level that we saw the year before last or even the year prior to that.”
A game of supply and demand, Ingram says, has always been the game of gas prices. As for the result, Ingram believes Alabama will top out at far less than three dollars a gallon.