Gasoline prices set another new record high on Tuesday, averaging $4.92 per gallon for regular just as many families prepare to set off on their summer vacations.
Average gas prices have jumped 30 cents in the past week, and $1.87 from a year ago, according to the AAA Gas Price Index, and are now on pace to top $5 per gallon by the end of this week.
California remains the most expensive state for gas by a wide margin, and pump prices in the Golden State now average $6.37 per gallon.
A total of 13 states, as well as Washington DC, now average more than $5 per gallon, with more due to join their ranks in the coming days as supply fails to keep pace with demand.
Average gas prices have jumped 30 cents in the past week, and $1.87 from a year ago, according to the AAA Gas Price Index
Gasoline prices set another new record high on Tuesday, averaging $4.92 per gallon
‘People are still fueling up, despite these high prices,’ said Andrew Gross, AAA spokesperson, in a statement on Monday.
‘At some point, drivers may change their daily driving habits or lifestyle due to these high prices, but we are not there yet,’ he added.
On Tuesday, the states that had exceeded a $5 per gallon average were: Massachusetts, Maine, New Jersey, Indiana, Arizona, Michigan, Alaska, Illinois, Washington, Oregon, Hawaii, Nevada and California.
Georgia had the cheapest gas in the nation at $4.33 per gallon, which nevertheless represented an all-time record high for the Peach State.
Soaring gas prices and high inflation for other basic goods have emerged as key issues for President Joe Biden and congressional Democrats ahead of the mid-term elections.
Gas prices have now more than doubled since Biden took office in January 2020, when the national average stood at $2.39.
A recent ABC News/Ipsos poll found that 83 percent of Americans say that the economy is either an extremely or very important issue in determining how they will vote in November.
Soaring gas prices and high inflation for other basic goods have emerged as key issues for President Joe Biden and congressional Democrats ahead of the mid-terms
A new ABC News/Ipsos poll shows that 83 percent of Americans say that the economy is either an extremely or very important issue in determining how they will vote in the 2022 midterms – and a vast majority disapprove of Biden’s handling of economic recovery, inflation and gas prices
When it comes to economic issues, Biden scores the worst on gas prices, with 72 percent of voters disapproving of his handling of the issue.
Only 27 percent of Americans approve of how Biden is handling gas prices.
The administration continues to call rising gas prices ‘Putin’s price hike,’ and places the blame on the conflict in Eastern Europe.
Last week, Biden touted strong employment growth and an unemployment rate near the six-decade low reached prior to the pandemic as indicators that the economy is in a ‘position of strength.’
‘And there is no denying that high prices, particularly around gasoline and food, are a real problem for people,’ Biden said in remarks on Friday.
‘But there is every reason for the American people to feel confident that we’ll meet these challenges. Because of the enormous progress we’ve made on the economy, the Americans can tackle inflation from a position of strength,’ he added.
Republican critics blame Biden’s domestic energy policies for a decline in oil production, saying that his administration is waging a ‘war on American energy’.
‘Joe Biden’s war on American energy has forced families across the country to empty their wallets to fill their tanks,’ said Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel in a statement over the weekend.
‘Unfortunately, Biden is doubling-down on his disastrous agenda because he’s not the one paying the price – the American people are.’
A bus drives by a Chevron gas station where the price for regular gas per gallon is $7.85 in Los Angeles on Monday
Members of the Brown Beret National Party protest high gasoline prices at a Chevron gas station downtown Los Angeles on Saturday
Prices at the pump are largely determined by the price of crude oil, which has remained high since Russia launched its invasion of Ukraine in late February.
On Tuesday, US benchmark West Texas Intermediate crude was trading at around $118 per barrel, after hitting a three-month high of $120.99 on Monday.
For every $10 increase in the price of oil, a gallon of gas rises about 20 cents.
Easing travel restrictions in China are expected to boost demand for oil in the coming weeks, analysts from ANZ Research said in a note.
Beijing and the commercial hub Shanghai have been returning to normal in recent days after two months of painful lockdowns to stem outbreaks of the Omicron variant.
Traffic bans were lifted and restaurants were opened for dine-in service on Monday in most parts of Beijing.
Last week, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and allies, together called OPEC+, decided to boost output for July and August by 648,000 barrels per day, or 50 percent more than previously planned.
The increased target was spread across all OPEC+ members. However, many members have little room to ramp up output, including Russia, which faces Western sanctions.
European Union leaders last week agreed on a plan to partially ban Russian crude imports, which sent further shock waves through global oil markets.
‘While the new increased monthly targets continue to be driven by proportional contributions from all participants (including Russia), it is unrealistic to expect an increase close to the headline figure,’ said Stephen Innes, managing partner at SPI Asset Management, in a note.
U.S. crude inventories likely fell last week, while gasoline and distillate stockpiles were seen up, a preliminary Reuters poll showed on Monday.