Gas prices to be highest this Memorial Day weekend since 2014

ATWATER VILLAGE, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Surging prices at the pumps are crippling consumers across the country because for the first time since 2014 Americans will pay the highest gas prices on Memorial Day weekend.

Just a year ago, people such as Miles Persons paid $3 a gallon for gas. Now, the average in California is $3.75 with a possibility of increasing.

"I think anything above $3.50 starts to take a toll," Persons said.

So what is causing the uptick in prices? Some argue it's in part because of President Donald Trump's decision to impose sanctions on oil-rich Iran and pull out of a nuclear weapons agreement with the country.

Jeff Spring from AAA said it is one possible reason.

"We don't really know exactly how that's going to play out, but that does cause speculators to sort of push the market this way and that way," he said.

But he said the price fluctuation likely has more to do with the supply and demand of oil and gas. For a couple of years, he said there was a surplus of oil but recently suppliers have backed off.

"We've seen the glut reduce and reduce and reduce and so we're at a point now where the price of oil is going up because they think there is enough demand to impact that," Spring said.

To make matters worse, compared to other parts of the country, California is feeling the worst of the price hikes. Most of the East Coast and South will still have gas prices below $3 despite a nationwide increase.

"It's outrageous. California is the only place that really has it. I mean you go to Arizona, and not even just a mile past it and it's like $2," Robert Schmidt said.

AAA estimates that this Memorial Day weekend more than 41 million Americans will travel, which is the most amount of travelers in more than a decade.
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