Blame it on the Rain: Holiday Pump Prices near Record High

Price spike expected to be short-lived in wake of Isaac


Phoenix, Aug. 30, 2012. Hurricane Isaac pounded pump prices across the state and country upward this week, just in time for Labor Day weekend. The state and nationwide average both jumped 11 cents to $3.608 and $3.826 per gallon, respectively.

The 564,000 Arizonans embarking on Labor Day road trips will be met with some of the highest Labor Day pump prices on record. To show how current fuel prices compare to previous Labor Day holidays, below is a list of statewide fuel averages for the week leading up to the holiday weekend for the past five years:



Arizona fuel average
(per gallon)

Average cost to fill
a 15-gallon tank


















“As a result of Hurricane Isaac’s threat to the Gulf of Mexico refining region this week, motorists may spend more than ever before to fill up for fuel this Labor Day,” said Linda Gorman, director of communications and public affairs for AAA Arizona. “However, current pump prices will not deter Arizonans from taking one final road trip this summer. And fortunately, since Isaac didn’t cause any significant damage to infrastructure, Gulf Coast refineries should be back online soon, which will further able pump prices to retreat after the holiday — barring unforeseen circumstances.” 


Read AAA’s full Labor Day travel forecast here.


Tucson and Flagstaff hold the low and high state fuel averages at $3.532 and $3.739 per gallon, respectively. Colorado and California holds the lowest and highest prices in the lower 48 states at $3.542 and $4.153 per gallon, respectively.


Today’s Price

Change from last week



Last Year’s Price

East Valley
(Mesa, Gilbert, Chandler, Tempe, Ahwatukee, Apache Junction, Queen Creek)
























Phoenix (city)






Pima County












(Scottsdale, Fountain Hills)




































*E85 MPG/BTU adjusted price







Motorists can have a chance at fueling their gas budgets for free by entering the AAA Insurance gas sweepstakes. By requesting a no-obligation insurance quote, participants will be entered to win a year’s supply of gas. Each contestant will also be entered to win a $500 gas card. Get your auto insurance quote online, visit your nearest AAA office, or call toll-free 1-866-298-1232 by Sept. 15 for a chance to win.


As an advocacy organization representing the motoring public, AAA offers a variety of free resources to help motorists keep fuel budgets in check, including: 


  • AAA Gas Price Alerts ( offers users weekly fuel price text alerts.
  • AAA Mobile ( provides directions and plots fuel prices along your travel route.

*The BTU-adjusted price of E-85 is the nationwide average price of E-85 adjusted to reflect the lower energy content as expressed in British Thermal Units. The BTU-adjusted price is calculated and displayed as part of AAA's Fuel Gauge Report because according to the Energy Information Administration, E-85 delivers about 25 percent fewer BTUs by volume than conventional gasoline. Because "flexible fuel" vehicles can operate on conventional fuel and E-85, the BTU-adjusted price of E-85 is essential to understanding the cost implications of each fuel choice for consumers.


AAA’s Fuel Gauge Report includes data from gasoline stations in every Arizona community. Local prices in some communities might be higher or lower than the averages shown here. This service is updated daily by the Oil Price Information Service (OPIS) with average national, state and local prices for gasoline, diesel and E-85. Every day, more than 100,000 stations are surveyed in cooperation with Wright Express for unmatched statistical reliability.