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Gas prices fall ahead of Memorial Day weekend

Staff Report • May 20, 2019 at 9:00 PM

NASHVILLE — Prices at the pump continue to fall as the unofficial beginning of summer approaches.

The average price for a gallon of regular unleaded fuel in Tennessee is $2.54, the sixth lowest state average in the nation. That price is 3 cents less than a week ago, 6 cents less than a month ago and 13 cents less than a year ago, AAA reported.

The national average is $2.85, 1 cent less than last week’s average, 1 cent less than a month ago and 7 cents less than this time last year.

“Gas prices are getting cheaper for the majority of motorists ahead of the busy Memorial Day holiday. In fact, motorists can find gas for $2.75 or less at nearly half of all gas stations in the country,” said Stephanie Milani, Tennessee public affairs director for AAA, in a press release. “Crude oil prices have remained relatively stable the past few months, which is one reason helping gas prices be cheaper than last year at this time.”

Local averages

• Johnson City ($2.52)

• Kingsport-Bristol ($2.52)

Most expensive gas prices in the state

• Jackson ($2.60)

• Nashville ($2.59)

• Memphis ($2.57)

Least expensive gas prices in the state

• Chattanooga ($2.41)

• Cleveland ($2.42)

• Knoxville ($2.50)

Travel forecast

Nearly 43 million Americans will start their summers on a high note with a Memorial Day weekend getaway, AAA predicts.

This long holiday weekend, marking the unofficial start of summer vacation season, will see the second-highest travel volume on record since AAA began tracking holiday travel volumes in 2000, trailing only the bar set in 2005.

In Tennessee, 863,565 people are expected to travel, with most of them (752,134) hitting the roadways. Others will travel by plane (80,621) or by trains, buses and cruise ships (30,810), according to AAA.

What about oil?

At the close of Friday’s formal trading session on the New York Mercantile Exchange, West Texas Intermediate crude dropped 11 cents to settle at $62.76, AAA reported.

Crude prices increased last week due to rising global tensions and increased supply concerns. Crude prices will likely continue their ascent this week after the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and its partners met over the weekend to discuss compliance with the group’s 1.2 million barrels-per-day production reduction agreement that has been in place since January 2019.

The group will formally decide if it will keep the agreement in place beyond June at next month’s meeting, according to AAA.

To view daily gas price averages, visit www.GasPrices.AAA.com.