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Motorists keep an eye on pump prices as July 4th holiday weekend gets underway

Delaware Public Media

As the July 4th holiday weekend begins, Delawareans are paying the most they have ever paid for gasoline.

While traffic volume is expected to be back at pre-pandemic levels - all eyes are on gas prices.

The price per gallon has dipped slightly in the past week - however will that dip continue?

“I wish I had a crystal ball," said AAA Mid-Atlantic spokeswoman Jana Tidwell. "I wish we could say what will happen with gas prices in the upcoming holiday weekend. However, unfortunately I can say that prices for the July 4th holiday weekend will be the highest motorists have ever paid for this holiday weekend.”

Tidwell says Delwareans escaped - by one penny - paying $5 a gallon for gas just over a week ago. And she says gas prices have since declined due to crude oil prices dropping.

Tidwell says motorists need to keep in mind that there are many variables that go into the price of gas - demand is one of them.

When asked about AAA’s position on President Biden’s proposed three-month gas tax holiday, Tidwell said simply that “she couldn’t address that.”

Biden wants Congress to suspend the federal gas tax through the end of September. The White House says currently, the federal government charges an 18-cent tax per gallon of gasoline and a 24-cent tax per gallon of diesel.

The national gas price as of Thursday was $4.85 per gallon. And Delaware was at $4.77.

Tidwell says keep in mind when you’re filling your tank, you should use the proper grade of gasoline in your car to avoid problems - literally - down the road.

She says don’t use a lower grade of gas just to save money - despite the high prices.

“AAA recommends that all motorists go by what their vehicle handbook dictates. So if the handbook tells you to use a higher octane for your vehicle, then that’s exactly what you should use.”

Tidwell says many people don’t even know the octane level that their vehicle requires and they’re putting in premium-grade gasoline unnecessarily.

She says you’re not giving your vehicle any kind of treat by splurging on the higher priced fuel; all you’re really doing is breaking the bank.

Kelli Steele has over 30 years of experience covering news in Delaware, Baltimore, Winchester, Virginia, Phoenix, Arizona and San Diego, California.