HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — For the first time in 12 weeks, the national average gas price has declined, and Midstate counties have seen a similar trend. However, the decline is still subject to changes based on supply and demand, COVID, and Russia’s war on Ukraine.
“If the situation does worsen, with more oil being kept away from global markets, it’s not impossible that gas prices would still have to climb a considerable amount for Americans to start curbing their insatiable demand for gasoline,” said Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy.
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In Harrisburg, the average price of gas fell 11.3 cents per gallon in the last week, sitting at an average of $4.35/g on Monday morning. The price still remains $1.40/g more than it was a year ago.
Other Midstate counties also benefited from the national decline:
- Lancaster- $4.29/g, down 16.9 cents per gallon from last week’s $4.46/g
- York- $4.32/g, down 15.6 cents per gallon from last week’s $4.47/g
State Senator Kristin Phillips-Hill of York County, a place where some people, way down south at least, have an interesting option for gas. “We’re hearing that a lot of folks are just slipping south of the border to go purchase their gas, looking for a little bit of relief,” Phillips-Hill said.
It’s hard to deny, as prices are in the threes every since Maryland suspended its 36 cent a gallon gas tax for a month, beginning a few days ago.
“I certainly would like to see a similar type of action here in Pennsylvania to provide that relief at the pump so people will buy their gas here in York,” Phillips-Hill said.
So is a gas tax holiday a solution? Lots of people, consumers, politicians, even some economists say yes. Others are less sure.
“Families need some help,” Keystone Research Center Economists, Stephen Herzenberg said. His concern? “Whether gas prices are going up or coming down, it’s not news that the gas companies pass on the price increase right away and don’t pass back the cut quickly.”
Indeed, Gas Buddy data for the first few days of Maryland’s tax cut shows prices in Maryland have dropped by more than in Pennsylvania and the nation, but by less than if gas stations passed the entire tax cut through to consumers. Herzenberg favors direct relief. One example…
“To give a $250 per car break to Pennsylvanians. So if you’ve got to register a car, therefore you drive, you have some gas expenses,” Herzenberg said. “If we give money directly to low-income Pennsylvanians and to drivers in Pennsylvania, that’s going to hit the mark better.”
Nationally, there was a 9 cents per gallon decrease with an average of $4.23/g on Mondy morning.
To learn more about the recent trends both nationally and within the Midstate, visit GasBuddy’s website by clicking here.