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Record Drivers for July 4th Weekend to Boost US Gasoline Demand

Pump prices have retreated from the record high set in mid-June but are still near the peak headed into July 

Vehicles on Highway 101 in San Francisco, California.

Vehicles on Highway 101 in San Francisco, California.

Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg

Gasoline demand in the US is set to get a bump this July 4th weekend as a record number of drivers are expected to hit the road with some relief at the pump.

Around 42 million people will hit the road this Independence Day weekend, exceeding 2019 levels by half a million, according to a forecast from auto-club AAA, which defines travel as moving 50 miles or more from home. Average pump prices have been falling for the past 16 days to $4.857 a gallon as of Wednesday, down from a record $5.016 in mid-June, according to AAA.

Capping pump prices, a main contributor to inflation, has been a priority for the Biden administration. Measures such as releasing one million barrels a day of crude from the country’s emergency reserves have failed to prevent US oil supplies from shrinking to their lowest in nearly two decades. The retreat in pump prices is in part a result of lackluster fuel consumption so far this driving season.