This story was updated on Oct. 13, 2021, at 8:45 a.m. to include a recent increase in the state’s gas tax.
During last year’s pandemic slump in fuel demand, gas prices in Mobile, Daphne, Fairhope and Foley all sat below $2.00-per-gallon, according to data published by AAA. As of Tuesday, Oct. 12, gas in both Mobile and Baldwin counties averages more than $3.00.
On Tuesday, Mobile averaged slightly more than the statewide average, with unleaded gas at $3.04 per gallon; Baldwin County gas stations averaged $3.08 per gallon on unleaded fuel. Both counties averaged $3.28 per gallon on diesel. According to Gasbuddy.com, the best gas prices near Mobile were tracked at Y&Z in Semmes at $2.82. Dodge’s Store in Foley was ranked as the cheapest fuel in Baldwin County with regular unleaded being sold at $2.87.
Alabama’s gas tax increased by 2 cents beginning Oct. 1, bumping the state gas tax rate up to 28 cents and completing the final 10-cent gas tax hike implemented in Gov. Kay Ivey’s 2019 Rebuild Alabama Act.
Statewide, Alabama’s price at the pump for regular unleaded gasoline is currently an average of $3.01–12 cents more expensive than a week ago and roughly 15 cents higher than a month ago.The cheapest gas averages in the state ($2.87 to $2.97) seem to be concentrated in Alabama’s northeast region. The most expensive gas in the state is being seen in counties south of Birmingham, where prices range from $3.09 to $3.22. Alabama’s highest-ever gas prices were marked in September 2008, when gas hit $4.05 per gallon.
The state is the eighth lowest for average fuel costs and falls significantly below the national average of $3.27, which is the highest it’s been since October 2014. AAA attributes this to surging prices of crude oil.
“The key driver for this recent rise in the price of gas is crude oil, which typically accounts for between 50 percent and 60 percent of the price at the pump,” said AAA Spokesperson Andrew Gross. “And last week’s decision by OPEC and its oil-producing allies to not increase production further only exacerbated the upward momentum for crude oil prices.”
A breach and spill in a key pipeline supplying fuel to parts of the southeastern U.S. led to tightened regional supplies, according to AAA. Kinder Morgan Inc. (KMI) said it expected repairs to its southeastern products pipeline to be completed Oct. 9, with a restart afterward. However, flooding near Birmingham during this time postponed repair efforts. The spill took place on Oct. 1. The pipeline serves various metropolitan areas, including Birmingham, Atlanta, Charlotte, N.C., and Washington, D.C.
California has the highest gas prices, averaging $4.44 per gallon. In a Oct. 11 press release from AAA, Alabama is shown to have had the sixth highest weekly price hike in the United States of 12 cents–tied with Michigan and Tennessee. Washington D.C. saw the highest price increase of $17 cents.
Attempts to reach a spokesperson from AAA for more information were not successful.
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