U.S. gasoline prices have dropped in time for the major holiday driving season, but not everyone around the country is feeling the same relief at the pump.

Fuel prices were one of the key factors in U.S. inflation that soared to multi-decade highs in October, dampening President Joe Biden’s popularity and sparking calls for investigations into potential fuel market manipulation. The U.S. is the biggest consumer of gasoline worldwide, and more than 100 million Americans are going to hit the roads this holiday season.

Since prices peaked at $3.42 a gallon, the average retail price of U.S. gasoline has been retreating, now down 11 cents at $3.31 as of Friday. November’s peak was not an all-time high for retail gasoline, but the 60% increase from the year-ago coronavirus-affected trough was still alarming.

Some areas of the country have seen a swifter decline in prices than others. Part of that relates to additional additives required by states like California, geographic isolation from supply, and weather events that hampered delivery to the Pacific Northwest.

Read more….