Gas Prices Break Yet Another Terrifying Record

By Jacob Taylor | Thursday, 19 May 2022 16:45
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Gas prices have rocketed to another record high as the national average hit $4.48 a gallon.

According to the AAA, prices have surged by 15 cents over the last week, 40 cents over the past month, and $1.43 in a year.

In the meantime, California is reporting prices of up to $5.98 this week.

Russia’s war in Ukraine has dramatically impacted the cost of crude oil - which sits at $114.20 a barrel.

This, coupled with increasing inflation of 8.3 percent, are the main culprits for why drivers are spending over $100 to fill up with a full tank of regular unleaded gas in nearly a third of the nation. Gas prices are up by 27 percent from the day before Russia brutally attacked Ukraine earlier this year.

“Everything is pointing toward even higher prices. We are well on our way toward $5,” Andy Lipow, President of Lipow Oil Associates, told CNN, with prices almost sure to increase by Memorial Day, possibly as high as $4.75 a gallon.

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AAA is reporting an average of above $5 a gallon in California, Washington, Nevada, and Hawaii, with Oregon not far behind.

The average price of gas a year ago was $3.04 a gallon. Prices were recovering from the pandemic when stay-at-home orders and business shutdowns slashed demand for gasoline. Last summer, a lack of supply resulted in a gas shortage, sending U.S. gas prices to a seven-year high.

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Lipow thinks gasoline production will ramp up in the coming weeks, with more U.S. refineries ending maintenance season and coming online.

Supply is currently at only 97% of 2019 levels. Yet the current jump in prices worsens headaches caused by inflation which is affected by the rise in gas prices.

“The high cost of oil, the key ingredient in gasoline, is driving these high pump prices for consumers,” AAA spokesperson Andrew Gross announced on Monday.

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“Even the annual seasonal demand dip for gasoline during the lull between spring break and Memorial Day, which would normally help lower prices, is having no effect this year.” While all nations have access to the same gasoline, subsidies or taxes imposed locally mean the ultimate cost to consumers varies wildly.

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For instance, in oil-producing Nigeria, which subsidizes fuel, the official price is 40 U.S. cents per liter.

In Hong Kong, drivers were already paying US$2.50 per liter in 2021, according to the Economist Intelligence Unit.

On average, Americans pay around $1 per liter, according to the AAA, and even California’s $1.34 per liter is well below the prices paid by Europeans.

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