Gas prices in the United States are utterly and absolutely abhorrent. Every day the numbers on stations’ signage tick higher and higher. To the dismay of many, there is still no end in sight. In fact, gas prices are about to shatter a new glass ceiling. CNN reported that the nationwide average for gas prices could soon hit an exorbitant $5 per gallon.
According to AAA, the national average for gas prices is currently hovering at just over $4.50 per gallon. Andy Lipow, president of Lipow Oil Associates detailed to CNN that US residents can expect that figure to continue to climb. “Everything is pointing toward even higher prices. We are well on our way toward $5,” Lipow said.
Some states have already been feeling the weight behind what it means to fork over $5 or more for a single gallon of gas. In fact, California has been fielding these high costs largely since gas prices started to climb last year. At present, the average cost per gallon of gas in California is $6.02. In more remote areas of the state where there are fewer gas stations, prices are far worse. In those areas paying $8 or more per gallon is not unheard of. Washington, Nevada, Hawaii, Oregon, and Alaska have also already eclipsed a $5 average. And many more states are on track to do the same in the coming days. Arizona, Illinois, New York, and Washington DC are all rapidly approaching the $5 threshold.
There is a slew of mitigating circumstances that are helping to continue to drive gas prices higher. Inflation has infiltrated the economy and has yet to loosen its grip. Russia’s relentless besiegement of Ukraine is creating logistical difficulties for oil production overseas. A good portion of Europe relied on Russia for supplies of oil. Those countries have now had to pivot where they obtain their supplies. This puts added pressure on other sources of oil which in turn creates a ripple effect that hampers supply availability. This is coupled with the fact that oil producers are still recovering from the toll the pandemic took on their production outputs.
To make matters worse, this trifecta of circumstances that is causing gas prices to surge in the United States comes as the weather continues to get nicer. With nicer weather, more people are leaving their homes to take impromptu day trips and the like. This will further add to the demand for gasoline, which in turn will all but certainly drive prices increasingly higher.
The one light at the end of the tunnel, according to Lipow, is the fact that oil producers are doing everything in their conceivable power to increase the number of barrels they are shipping out. At present, output efficiency stands at 97% compared to 2019. Ultimately, though, whether those efforts will be enough to at least stabilize gas prices as where they are currently, remains to be seen. As of right now, however, consumers across the nation should expect to pay $5 per gallon of gas very soon if they aren’t already.