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Gassing up for your Memorial Day travel - what are gas prices and when can we expect a fall?

Memorial Day gas prices and why they're increasing
Memorial Day gas prices and why they're increasing 02:34

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) - Critical to any travel plan on tires is obviously the price of gas and around here, it's been ticking up. 

Don't blame the cost on the holiday, at least that's according to GasBuddy's Patrick De Haan. 

In fact, he said the slight climb here is opposite the national trend and that is baffling even him. 

It may be baffling, but it's undeniable - our gas prices have gone up this week. 

"It looks like retail gas prices in Pittsburgh have made a bit of a jump, we're at about $3.85," he explained. "Prices earlier this week were as low as $3.79. Prices had been falling up until the last 48 hours. But the good news is they should start to go back down here maybe through the weekend. And that's a trend that could continue for the next couple of weeks." 

So, once we're on the other side of Memorial Day, say June 1 and July 4, De Haan said prices should start to decline. 

That's because refineries are at their peak production and pushing out the gas for summer travel. 

De Haan said that President Joe Biden's release of the nation's fuel reserves sounds big. 

"This is a million barrels of gasoline, that equates to 42 million gallons, that's not a huge amount," he said. "It's the amount of gasoline that the US consumes in 2.65 hours and it's about the amount of gasoline that the northeast uses in one day."

The fuel is in storage in New Jersey, Boston, and Maine. 

"It will bring prices down only really in the northeastern U.S. for the gasoline exists but again, it's not going to be an overnight plummet," De Haan said. 

So, don't expect it to have an impact on what we're paying here in Pittsburgh. 

However, De Haan did say if we stay light on hurricanes this summer, the downward trend will continue but forecasters say there is a 40% chance of a major hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico which would impact production and pricing. 

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