Drivers should pay about a dime less per gallon for gasoline over the Fourth of July holiday than last year, even with a major refinery outage and new taxes in about a dozen states.
A record 41.4 million people are expected to travel on the nation’s roadways over the long holiday weekend, an increase of 4% from 2018, according to AAA, and even with the shutdown of the largest East Coast refinery, gasoline should be plentiful.
Since the June 21 blast halted operations at Philadelphia Energy Solutions’ 335,000 barrel refinery, the national average for gasoline has risen by about 7 cents per gallon of unleaded to about $2.73 per gallon. The national average on the holiday weekend last year was $2.85 per gallon.
Gasoline prices could continue to rise into the weekend, as the East Coast market adjusts to the loss of the Philadelphia refinery, which was 27% of the region’s refining capacity. The refinery is scheduled for permanent shutdown, and the shortfall is expected to be made up by…