2008 U.S. Gas Price Year in Review

This story is part of Treehugger's news archive. Learn more about our news archiving process or read our latest news.
Close-up of a person pumping gas

Scott Heiner / Getty Images

Gas Prices in 2008 in the USA

Gas prices have always been an up and down proposition. This year has been as especially rocky year, with prices reaching the highest in history, then plummeting to a 5-year low within only a matter of months. Graphs and charts just don't quite seem to do these extraordinary events justice, so lets look back through this years most pivotal moments, one day at a time...

January 1, 2008—New York, Times Square celebrates the New Year by dropping the ball for the 100th time.

January 2, 2008—The day after New Years saw crude oil prices at a record $100 per barrel, with regular unleaded fuel costing an average of $3.05 per gallon.

January 4, 2008—General Motors unveils that it has lost an automotive record of approximately $38 billion during the 2007 year. Little did they know, the worst was only yet to come!

April 21, 2008—Gasoline prices jump to a record $3.50 a gallon in some parts of the U.S.

May 15, 2008— While many people were shocked at $3 a gallon, they were not prepared for what was about to happen as prices shot up to nearly $4 a gallon. Public hysteria sets in as consumers begin using Gas Buddy to find the lowest gas prices in town.

May 21, 2008—Oil price skyrockets to $130 a barrel. Holly cow!!!

June 9, 2008—Retail gas prices rise above $4 per gallon.

June 15, 2008—Speculators continue to push the price of crude oil. Consumers begin to literally run out of gas attempting to stretch their dollar. Hybrid vehicles are becoming a hot commodity. Stories of gas stations running out of gas begins to circulate, creating greater hysteria among the public.

July 7, 2008—Crude oil prices settled-in at a new record of $147 per barrel. The U.S. average price for regular gasoline climbs to an all-time high of $4.11 per gallon. Road trip style vacations are put on hold for many summer travelers.

Aug. 5, 2008—Oil prices fall below $120 a barrel. Treehuggers search for the good within the escalating gas prices.

Sept. 15, 2008—The barrel continues to drop below $100 a barrel for the first time in six months. The idea of a serious financial industry recession is discussed as the market literally begins to melt down!

Oct. 16, 2008—Oil prices fall below $70 a barrel, which is less than half of its July peak. Signs of $1.99 a gallon gas brings celebration to the masses. Some consumers begin to talk about dragging out their gas guzzling SUV's and Winnebago's for the first time in months.

Nov. 3, 2008—U.S. Gas prices drop to $1.72 a gallon. Some gas stations even roll out a $.99 cent promotional deal. Treehuggers question whether the sudden drop is as good as most consumers seem to think it is.

Dec. 17, 2008—OPEC removes 2.2 million barrels from its daily production. Crude oil collapses to $40 a barrel, becoming the lowest price in almost 4 years.

Dec. 19, 2008—After weeks of negotiation, Bush approves the emergency bailout of the U.S. auto industries big three, giving them $17.4 billion in rescue loans. Treehugger questions whether the government is doing the right thing.

Dec. 22, 2008—Toyota unveils its first operating loss in 70 years of business.Sales drop for the Prius considerably. Low gas prices appear to be minimizing the hype over the hybrid vehicle.

Dec. 26, 2008—Gas prices tumble to $1.64 a gallon. Some areas seeing prices as low as $1.45 a gallon. Crude oil is just a little over $40 a barrel still.

Dec. 31, 2008—Crude oil prices plummet below $37 a barrel while the U.S. average price for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline falls to an amazing 5-year low of $1.61.

Did I miss anything? Would any of you care to offer a prediction on what this next year should see in terms of oil and transportation?