Major storm could snarl holiday travel in Southern Oregon, Northern California

PORTLAND, Ore., – Pump prices are within a few cents of last year’s prices and are continuing to edge lower in about half of all states, including Oregon. For the week, the national average ticks down a penny to $2.59 a gallon. The Oregon average drops a nickel to $3.21. This is the second week in a row that Oregon has the third-largest weekly decline in the nation. Oregon also has the second-largest monthly decline in the nation with a drop of 14 cents.

“During Thanksgiving week last year we saw gas prices fall between Monday and Thursday and that could be the case again this year. Use the AAA Mobile app to find the cheapest gas along your route,” says Marie Dodds, public affairs director for AAA Oregon/Idaho.

AAA projects the second-highest travel volume for Thanksgiving on record with 55 million Americans traveling for the holiday including 748,000 Oregonians. The vast majority—49.3 million Americans including 643,000 Oregonians—will drive to their Thanksgiving destinations. Find details in the Thanksgiving travel news release.

A major storm is expected to pound Southern Oregon and Northern California, bringing snow and high winds to the area. Heavy snowfall is also expected on Mt. Hood. The National Weather Service advises travelers to wait until Wednesday before traveling in Southern Oregon.

“Be aware of the latest weather conditions and adjust travel plans as needed so you can safely get to your Thanksgiving destination. Make sure you, your passengers and vehicle are all ready for winter driving conditions,” says Dodds. Find out more at AAA expects to rescue 7,500 Oregonians over the Thanksgiving travel period. Dead batteries are the number one issue.

Oregon is one of 26 states where gas prices are lower now than a week ago; As mentioned above, Oregon (-5 cents) has the third-largest weekly decline in the country for the second week in a row. Ohio (-10 cents) has the largest week-over-week decline, and California (-9 cents) is second. Pennsylvania (+4 cents) has the biggest weekly jump. Prices are flat in Vermont, Wyoming and Massachusetts.

This week there are six states with an average above $3 a gallon, same as a week ago. For the second week in a row, there are no states with an average above $4 a gallon. California’s average had topped the $4 mark earlier this fall.

The cheapest gas in the nation can be found in Louisiana ($2.22) and Mississippi ($2.23). For the 41st week in a row, no states have an average below $2 a gallon.

Oregon is one of 31 states with lower prices now than a month ago. The national average is two cents less and the Oregon average is 14 cents less than a month ago. This is the second-largest monthly decrease in the nation. California (-23 cents) has the largest month-over-month decline, and Washington (-10 cents) is third. Utah (+17 cents) has the largest month-over-month increase.

Oregon is one of 25 states where drivers are paying more than a year ago. The national average is three cents more and the Oregon average is also three cents more than a year ago. California (+24 cents) and Illinois (+17 cents) have the biggest year-over-year increases. Connecticut (-17 cents) has the largest year-over-year drop.


West Coast

The West Coast continues to have the highest pump prices in the nation with all of the region’s states landing on the top 10 most expensive list.

Rank Region Price on 11/26/19
1 California $3.85
2 Hawaii $3.66
3 Washington $3.34
4 Nevada $3.30
5 Oregon $3.21
6 Alaska $3.15
7 Idaho $2.97
8 Utah $2.95
9 Arizona $2.92
10 Pennsylvania $2.80

California is most expensive for the 10th week in a row, with Hawaii, Washington, Nevada, Oregon, and Alaska rounding out the top six. Arizona is ninth. Oregon is fifth most expensive for the 19th week in a row.

Pump prices are continuing to decline in the region after prices spiked due to planned and unplanned refinery maintenance earlier this fall. Increased gasoline stocks have helped to put downward pressure on pump prices, as demand remains robust. According to EIA’s report for the week ending on November 15, gas stocks in the region grew by a hefty 1.9 million bbl, bringing the total to 28.49 million bbl. The current supply level is 1.6 million bbl higher than last year’s level at this time, which should continue to help prices decline during the long Thanksgiving holiday weekend.


Oil market dynamics

Crude oil prices were fairly steady last week; however they increased slightly after reports that the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and its partners are likely to extend their current production reduction agreement through the middle of 2020. OPEC will meet in Vienna on December 5 and 6. Price gains were limited by continued market fear that the trade war between China and the U.S. – the world’s two largest crude consumers – will reduce crude demand moving into next year. If trade tensions increase this week, crude prices could decrease further.

In related news, EIA’s weekly report shows growing U.S. oil stocks. Total domestic crude inventories increased by 1.4 million bbl last week, bringing the new total to 450.4 million bbl. The current level is 3.5 million bbl higher than last year’s level at this same time.

At the close of Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, WTI decreased by 81 cents to settle at $57.77. At the close of Monday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, WTI added 24 cents to close at $58.01. Today crude is trading around $58, compared to $56 a week ago. Crude prices are up about four percent in the last month and are about $8 per barrel more than a year ago.

Drivers can find current gas prices along their route with the free AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad and Android. The app can also be used to map a route, find discounts, book a hotel and access AAA roadside assistance. Learn more at


For the week, the national average holds steady at $3.01 a gallon. Oregon’s average loses four cents to $3.43. A year ago the national average for diesel was $3.20 and the Oregon average was $3.38.


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Fuel prices are updated daily at AAA’s Daily Fuel Gauge at AAA Gas Prices. For more info go AAA Oregon/Idaho provides more than 820,000 members with travel, insurance, financial and automotive-related services, and is an affiliate of AAA National, serving more than 60 million motorists in North America.