Drivers in the United States can expect to feel “real pain” at the gas stations across America this spring, as warm-weather travel and rising inflation combine to create a perfect storm at the pumps.
Prices for regular unleaded are expected to soon soar above $4 per gallon, according to a report from the Daily Mail.
The American Automobile Association currently pegs the national average at $3.314 a gallon. California holds the dubious distinction of having the highest-priced gas at $4.650, while gas in the Lone Star State of Texas boasts the cheapest fill at $2.942. New York state sits right in the middle, with gas currently going for $3.39.
On Tuesday came a stark warning that California prices could soon become the new normal for all Americans.
Patrick De Hann, the head of petroleum at GasBuddy, told Fox Business, “We’ll start to see gasoline demand surge, along with refiners doing maintenance ahead of the summer driving season, creating a squeeze.” He predicted the spike would begin in March.
According to De Hann’s projections, there may be an increase of 10 to 20 cents per gallon every month until May, when the national average could surpass the $4 mark.
Earlier this month, GasBuddy made the grim prediction that the nation average price for a gallon of gas could hit $4.13 in June, with California cities such as Sacramento and San Francisco facing a staggering $5 or more per-gallon price tag.
De Hann said prices would likely come down again following a “hot start to the summer,” with costs dropping to just under $3 per gallon by the 2022 holiday season.
The projection offers little comfort, as Americans face the highest level of inflation in 40 years.
On January 12, the Labor Department reported that the consumer price index has risen 7 percent over the last year. The index rose 0.5 percent last month, after surging 0.8 percent in November.
Already under fire for his handling of the economy, President Joe Biden attempted to spin the slowing rate into a win for his struggling administration. It’s a difficult argument to make, when the increase pushed annual inflation to 7 percent in December, the highest level since June 1982, and up from November’s 6.8 percent annual rate.
Nevertheless, in a statement made January 12, Biden called inflation ‘a global challenge’ and claimed the latest numbers were good news.
Today’s inflation numbers show a meaningful reduction in headline inflation over last month. We are making progress in slowing the rate of price increases. But there is still more work to do — I remain focused on lowering costs for families and maintaining strong economic growth.
— President Biden (@POTUS) January 12, 2022
“Today’s report — which shows a meaningful reduction in headline inflation over last month, with gas prices and food prices falling — demonstrates that we are making progress in slowing the rate of price increases,” said Biden.
The tweet only tells half the story.
While, nationwide, gas prices did drop 2.2 percent in December from the prior month, they remained 50 percent higher than prices a year ago. Furthermore, food prices were up 0.5 percent on the month and 6.3 percent higher than a year ago, leaving Americans to ask, “What falling food prices?”
The truth is, with labor shortages, higher costs for businesses, chaos in the supply chains, and Omicron infecting much of the work force, all signs indicate that high inflation could persist well into 2022.
As gas prices soar, it will take more than political spin for Americans to see any silver linings among Biden’s many failures.
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