When tens of millions of Americans hit the road this holiday weekend, they’re going to find the highest prices for gasoline in nearly seven years. But many will also find stations that don’t have any gas at all.
The national average price for a gallon of regular stands at $3.10, the highest since October 2014. The average is up just 2% since Memorial Day, but 42% from a year ago, when pandemic restrictions brought demand to a near halt and sent oil and gas prices plunging.
But stations running dry has nothing to do with the price — or even the supply — of gasoline. It’s the shortage of tank truck drivers coupled with rising demand that is causing supply chain bottlenecks and shortages. Experts say a growing number of stations are reporting that they are simply not able to get gas delivered — at any price.
Right now the outages are scattered across the country, said Tom Kloza, global head of energy analysis for the Oil Price Information Service, which tracks prices for AAA. He said there have been outages reported in the Pacific Northwest, Northern California, Colorado and Iowa. There are also outages reported in Indianapolis and Columbus, Ohio, said Patrick DeHaan, spokesperson for GasBuddy.