(The Center Square) – Washingtonians have seen the fifth straight week of price declines in fuel costs, but the pace has slowed to a crawl leading into the Thanksgiving Holiday.
On Monday, the average price of a gallon of regular unleaded was $4.80, down only 2 cents per gallon last week, according to AAA data.
“While the national average has barely budged, there are now about 13 states with some stations selling gas below $3 a gallon, more gas stations could follow, which may be a big help with road trip budgeting as Thanksgiving approaches.” said AAA spokesperson Andrew Gross in a statement Monday.
Compared with the national average dropping 3 cents per gallon over the last week, Washington’s 2-cent decline was about on par with the rest of the nation. However, the local decline was significantly lower than the 10 cents per gallon decrease of the previous two weeks.
As far as intra-state price variance goes, the numbers are relatively high, spanning a range of 84 cents per gallon depending on location in the state. The outliers are Wahkiakum County in the West and Pend Oreille County in the east, at $5.15 and $4.31 per gallon, respectively. This price variance still largely follows the Cascade Range, with residents to the west paying a higher fuel premium than residents to the east.
Despite the continuation of the downward trend from weeks prior, Washington is still firmly in the top ten most expensive fuel markets nationwide. Coming in fourth nationwide, Washington’s pump prices were only beat out by Nevada, Hawaii, and California, who filled out third to first on the list.
Washington state residents also have a new cap-and-trade tax to look forward to starting Jan. 1, which, as previously reported by The Center Square, would drive fuel costs an estimated 46 cents per gallon higher. This will come on top of Washington’s current rate of 49.4 cents per gallon of state tax.