Drivers prepare for Fourth of July travel, gas prices rise

Local News

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC)– The national average for gas prices is higher than it’s been since 2014. In Richmond, the prices hover just below three dollars a gallon.

With the Fourth of July approaching many people are expected to fill up the tank ahead of the holiday. However, Virginians who plan to hit the roads this weekend could see the prices go up even more.

Pat De Haan, the Head of Petroleum Analysis with GasBuddy, said it’s a trend seen across the country as supply and demand try to equal out. With more drivers getting back on the roads, the costs rise because the fuel supply is still catching up to the increase in demand.

“Now that things have come roaring back, well, production has been slow to follow it,” he said. “Part of the reason is because, something many Americans have realized, is there’s a labor shortage right now and that’s been hindering how quickly oil producers can increase production.”

Margaret Thompson, who filled up on gas Wednesday, said she’s getting a head start with the holiday weekend approaching.

“It’s amazing,” she said. “I mean you come one day it’s one price and the next time you come it’s a whole other thing,”

Thompson said she will be staying local for the holiday weekend to avoid the crowds.

Meanwhile, Emely Lopez said her family will be traveling for July 4th.

“We’re going to go camping. It’s going to be a lot of fun,” she said.

She added that the rising prices have been taking a toll on her parents.

“If they’re going to keep on increasing we’re going to keep on needing more money,” Lopez said.

De Haan says some parts of the country are still experiencing delivery delays, because the demand for gas is so high and there’s a shortage of truck drivers.

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