Indiana’s average gasoline prices continue to be higher than the national average, but they are lower than they were at this point a year ago.
The state’s average price per gallon is $3.75, ninth highest in the country. The national average is $3.68.
While gas prices in Indiana have gone down slightly over the past week, they are still expected to remain high through the July 4 holiday, said Michael Green, Manager of Public Relations at the American Automobile Association.
He said Indiana has the eighth highest state gas tax in the country, which is a major contributor to Indiana’s high gas prices.
Green added that states in the Midwest tend to be the most volatile with gas prices jumping unexpectedly due to events around the world. He said that Indiana, Michigan and Ohio are usually the most affected.
Maureen Ferguson, from the Indiana Petroleum Council, said there are a multitude of reasons why Indiana’s prices are higher.
One of the major factors is that Hoosiers get their oil from the Middle East, where instability regularly leads to price shifts. With an increase in violence in Iraq, gas prices are projected to rise, according to AAA.com.
Ferguson said another reason for the high prices is that some refineries have been shut down permanently or just for maintenance, meaning that less oil will be produced.
She added that gas prices rely heavily on supply and demand, with certain states and regions demanding more oil than others.
Also, the transportation of oil factors into the cost. States such as Hawaii and Alaska have two of the highest average gas prices per gallon with Alaska at $4.06 and Hawaii at more than $4.30.
The highest gas prices in the continental United States are in California, which averages $4.09 per gallon.
Even with the recent increase of violence in Iraq and the Middle East, the national average gas prices are projected to range from $3.55 to $3.70. That is slightly more than this point last year, which ranged from $3.47 to $3.67.
Indiana ranks third in the Midwest behind Michigan and Illinois and ninth overall in the country, coming in just ahead of New York in most expensive gas prices.