Gas prices are yet again nearing another staggering high, with little hope of any respite in the foreseeable future.
It’s starting to feel like the movie Groundhog Day (1993). Gas prices are nearing yet another critical nexus nationwide. This week, the Tri-State has become the focal region driving the nation’s gas prices toward a new glass ceiling. According to ABC7 Eyewitness News, the cost of gas in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut is surging. The surging prices in these states have created a ripple effect, sending the United States careening towards a national average cost of $5 per gallon of gas. AAA has the current average at $4.87 and climbing.
At present, New Yorkers can expect to pay $4.88 at the pump. Connecticut residents have a penny up on the Empire State. Gas prices there are hovering at $4.89 per gallon. New Jersey’s prices are even more cringe-worthy. At $4.99 per gallon, they are teetering over a new threshold. The surge in New Jersey can likely be attributed to one thing. It’s finally summer, which means everyone is flocking toward the Jersey shore. And, interestingly enough, by the looks of the beaches, the soaring costs are doing nothing to deter beachgoers eager to plant themselves on the sand for the day.
Moreover, the fact that rising gas prices are seemingly not stopping people from getting out and going places aligns with an overarching national trend. Logically, this can be attributed to Covid restrictions easing for the first time in over two years. People are simply tired of sitting at home and they don’t seem to care what it will cost them to regain any sense of normalcy. However, while one certainly can’t blame people for needing to go out and do things again, this trend is also helping to drive prices even higher.
While high gas prices are, for the most part, not deterring Americans from traveling, the Biden administration is still working to bring prices down. In an economy marred by one of the most intense periods of inflation on record, this is certainly an important step. Even though seemingly unphased at present, US residents will only be able to ignore the damage that gas prices are having on their wallets for a certain amount of time. Thus, as a possible solution to bringing prices down, The New York Times reported that President Biden has asked the Saudi government to increase oil production. A greater surplus in supply will help prices to drop. That being said, it’s important to understand that “Presidents may be the most powerful figure in the American government, but they cannot control the price of oil at the pump,” relayed Chase Untermeyer, who was the U.S. ambassador to Qatar during the George W. Bush administration.
At this point, asking is probably the absolute best thing that President Biden can do. This is because, although the republican party is calling for more domestic measures to be taken in terms of oil production, the effects of that would take years to have any impact on gas prices at the pump. “Were the administration to accede to every aspect of the industry’s wish list, that would have a modest impact on today’s prices because it would mostly be about production in the future,” explained Jason Bordoff, who works as the director of Columbia University’s Center for Global Energy Policy. “And it would come with substantial downsides politically, socially and environmentally,” lamented Bordoff. For now, the best thing that US residents can do is keep their fingers crossed that the President’s efforts pay off and hope that gas prices start to recede.