Y’all don’t need a weatherman to tell you which way the wind is blowing. We know gas prices are climbing at rates never before seen in the United States. National gasoline prices finally landed a heart-cooling $4.33 on average this weekend. This marks an $.88 increase from only a month ago and a $1.47 increase since this time last year. Gas prices are bad now, but experts think fuel costs might worsen before they get better.
Why are gas prices so high in 2022?
As with most global markets, the hike in gas prices comes out of multiple situations. One of the most important to note is the ongoing war raging in Ukraine at the Russian’s hands. In a defensive move to check Russia, the US has quit trading with Russia; most importantly, we are not buying its oil. Not only are petroleum products one of Russia’s biggest exports, but Russia is also responsible for 12 percent of the world’s oil supply. This means a serious chunk of our supply just stopped flowing, causing a major price hike.
Although that admittedly reductive explanation is the nuts and bolts of it, there are also some other pressures raising prices. The ongoing pandemic has changed the way people travel. Many families feel more comfortable driving than taking planes. Another major factor is the seasonal price fluctuations that increase with travel for the summer.
Despite the many complicated and complex markets and failed diplomacy, gasoline is like every other market; it responds to supply and demand. Demand for fuel is high, and its supply has taken a hit.
Will gas prices come down soon?
This weekend, gas prices actually dropped by a few fractions of a cent, on average. I’m sorry to say not only is that a tiny movement, but it also may not be indicative of the near future for gas prices.
Until the war in Ukraine is settled (not sure if “settled” is the best word, but it’s the best I know to say), we clear the summertime, the economy levels a bit, and nothing else catastrophic happens between now and then, you shouldn’t expect to see better numbers at the pump.
How high are gas prices going to go?
As previously mentioned, the national average price for gas is $4.33 per gallon. This is the highest national average America has ever seen. Unfortunately, experts believe that we have more records to break.
Keep in mind that $4.33 per gallon is just the national average. In places like California, gas prices are averaging over a dollar per gallon more at $5.74 as of this past weekend. Eighteen other states are suffering prices over the average.
Economic analysts say that we should expect $4.50 a gallon across the country before long. Patrick de Haan, GasBuddy head of petroleum analysis, predicts the inflated prices will be here for months.
“Americans have never seen gasoline prices this high, nor have we seen the pace of increases so fast and furious. That combination makes this situation all the more remarkable and intense,” de Haan said in a statement to Business Insider.
According to Cnet Money, “the US government’s Energy Information Administration now predicts Brent oil will average over $100 a barrel for the remainder of 2022. But, the agency added, its forecasts could change greatly if additional European countries sanction Russian oil.