When things have a seasonal cycle, it’s often difficult to make direct comparisons. Ideally you compare to last year this time, or the ten year average of this time last year, but what people really want is a sense of how high it will go. This article does a decent job with that — look, it’s already $3.90, it’s going to keep rising until May or so — it’s hard to see absent some large event how we won’t at least break last years peak of $3.98, and get close to the record of $4.11.
This is also an example of where controlling for inflation is probably superfluous. We’re talking against last years price on the one hand and a date four years back on the other, through some pretty lean years in terms of inflation — we can probably live without it in a presentation like this. (Although interestingly we were almost paying as much for gas in 1980 in inflation adjusted dollars as we were the past couple of years — a recession will do that to prices….)