GasBuddy expert: Twin Cities gas prices could start falling slightly ahead of holiday

On Tuesday President Joe Biden ordered 50 million barrels of oil be released from the United States’ strategic reserve to help bring down energy costs and experts say the move could have immediate but temporary impacts.

"Because of today’s announcement gas stations will probably start lowering prices a little more aggressively through the weekend," GasBuddy petroleum analyst Patrick De Haan said.

According to GasBuddy, the average price for a gallon of gas in Minnesota is $3.16. This time last year, it was $1.93, a difference of $1.23. Minnesota’s prices are still lower than the national average, which GasBuddy says is $3.41 a gallon.

DeHaan says global events like a high energy demand in Europe and China over the last few months have led to this price increase. He also points out that compared to a year ago, Americans’ travel habits have changed and the market might not have caught up yet.

"Last year we were talking about the economy being shut down, schools, restaurants, bars, everything last year was shut down and this year Americans’ have places to go," De Haan said.

According to AAA, Americans are not expected to slow down just because gas prices are up.

"We actually don’t expect the gas prices to deter anyone who’s traveling for Thanksgiving," Meredith Mitts with AAA Minnesota-Iowa said.

AAA expects 48.3 million Americans will travel by road this holiday weekend. Overall, they predict travel is up 13 percent compared to last year, and only 5 percent fewer people are traveling this year than in 2019, their busiest Thanksgiving on record.

"It’s exciting that just one year later we’re back to almost our pre-pandemic numbers," Mitts said.

DeHaan says drivers shouldn’t get too excited about gas prices, though. He expects this fix is only temporary and other, global events will determine how much gas prices come down in the future.