“Not looking like a great year:” 2017 may bring sticker shock for motorists at the gas pump

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MILWAUKEE -- Motorists may get some sticker shock in 2017 when it comes to prices at the gas pump.

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The experts with GasBuddy released information on Wednesday, January 4th that indicates Americans will shell out $52 billion more over the course of the year compared to 2016 -- as the national yearly average rises to $2.49 per gallon.

"If prices get too high, I guess I just have to drive less and work more to compensate," said Jesse Mergenthaler.

"Right now we're averaging $2.50, not even $2.50, under $2.50 right now. Even if it hits $3, I don't see a whole lot of change in sales," said Jesse Kang who owns Pioneer Plaza Truck Stop.gas-prices4

"It's not looking like a great year for motorists at the pump," said Patrick DeHaan, GasBuddy.com.patrick-dehaan

DeHaan is senior petroleum analyst at GasBuddy.com, which predicts gas prices will increase about 36 cents per gallon this year.

"We're going to be faced with higher gas prices than we saw in 2016. In fact, as a country we're likely to shell out about $52 billion more over the course of the entire year," said DeHaan.

DeHaan explained in early January 2016, many of us saw gas prices well under $2 a gallon.

Those have been replaced by gas prices which average around $2.35 a gallon.gas-prices

"The bulk of what's driving gas prices up are the jump in crude oil prices. That we can attribute to OPEC-- cutting oil production in November. OPEC cutting production in an effort to boost oil prices, and help out OPEC members' budgets, which have been battered by oil prices which were as low as $25 a barrel earlier this year," said DeHaan.gas-prices3

If US residents do end up spending a projected $52 billion more on gas this year than in 2016, it would completely wipe out the $39 saved from 2015 to 2016.

Aside from gasoline prices that are forecast to be higher than 2016, highlights include:

  • $355 billion will be spent on gasoline in the U.S. over the course of the year, $52 billion more than last year. That’s a considerable jump given that motorists saved $39 billion on gasoline in 2016 versus 2015.
  • The seasonal switch from ‘winter-blend’ to ‘summer-blend’ as mandated by EPA and the Clean Air Act will bring a spike at the pump later this winter and spring, with the national average gas price rising between 35-60 cents between mid-February and a peak, likely to occur in May.
  • $3 a gallon gasoline will be seen in at least the nation’s largest cities: Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, Washington, D.C. and Seattle, with a strong possibility of such prices also appearing in a majority of the nation’s twenty largest metros.

CLICK HERE to read GasBuddy's 2017 Fuel Price Outlook

CLICK HERE to view the FOX6Now.com Gas Price Tracker