Gas prices in Chattanooga increased another 4.8 cents per gallon in the past week to the highest summertime level in four years, according to GasBuddy's daily survey of 170 stations in Chattanooga.
The average price of regular gas in Chattanooga Sunday was $2.57 per gallon. That's 68 cents per gallon higher than a year ago and the highest July price since 2014 when gas prices in Chattanooga spiked up to $3.31 per gallon.
But Chattanooga gas prices still averaged 28 cents per gallon below the U.S. average of $2.85 per gallon for regular gas, GasBuddy.com said.
"As gas prices saw their highest level on July 4 in four years, President Trump continues to try to push OPEC to produce more crude oil, but so far, it hasn't materialized into much anything," said Patrick DeHaan, head of petroleum analysis for GasBuddy. "Gas prices have inched up in a majority of states and oil prices remain comfortably above $70 per barrel, with no significant relief any time soon."
DeHaan said gas prices could head higher, especially if hurricanes disrupt coastal oil deliveries this summer.
"There's little downward pressure on oil prices as we remain in the midst of the summer driving season, and unless we see credible evidence to suggest OPEC or other countries are producing more oil, we will likely continue to see gas prices drift higher," he said.
In a separate survey, AAA said Tennessee increased 1.5 cents during the past week. Since June 1, Tennessee gas prices averaged $2.64 per gallon — an increase of nearly 60 cents compared to the average price last summer. However, current pump prices remain 12 cents below this year's high, set during Memorial Day weekend.
"Reduced global oil supplies have caused summer travelers to pay a higher price at the pump this year," said Mark Jenkins, spokesman, AAA - The Auto Club Group. "Fortunately, domestic gasoline production remains strong, which should help prevent major swings in summer gas prices. However, pump prices will pop if a major hurricane threatens refineries along the Gulf Coast. Last year, Hurricane Harvey caused a 40 cent spike."
The most expensive gas price averages in Tennessee are in Jackson ($2.67), Nashville ($2.65), and Memphis ($2.65)
The least expensive gas price averages in Tennessee are in Clarksville-Hopkinsville ($2.55), Knoxville ($2.56), and Johnson City ($2.57). The average price of gas in Hamilton County is $2.57.9 per gallon, AAA said.