The White House is celebrating the massive decline in gas prices over the past seven weeks, but gas prices still remain significantly higher than this time last year, and increasing demand may slow the drop in prices.
While the national average fell to $4.16 Wednesday, there is still significant variation within the price as five states still have gas prices above $5 per gallon, while 19 have prices that have fallen below $4, according to data from the American Automobile Association (AAA). The Biden administration has repeatedly taken credit for the lowering of gas prices, with President Joe Biden taking to Twitter in July to declare that his administration is “not done working” to lower costs. (RELATED: Gas prices are down because the economy is slowing)
In June, major oil producers wrote a letter to the administration, criticizing decisions by the federal government to increase roadblocks to oil production and disincentivize investment, such as heightened vehicle emission standards and stricter regulation of energy infrastructure projects, according to the Daily Caller News Foundation. The administration has also been staunchly opposed to efforts to lease federal land for the purpose of new drilling projects,
The national average this time last year was $3.18, over 23% cheaper, according to the AAA. Demand for oil remained low but was slowly rebounding, which the AAA noted might cause the drop in prices to slow or halt.
Prices have remained high in California and Hawaii, where gas is still $5.56 and $5.43 respectively, the highest in the nation, the AAA reports. The lowest prices were in South Carolina and Texas, where gas has fallen to $3.71 and $3.69 respectively, meaning the national average was still almost 15% cheaper at the same time last year than even the cheapest states today.
More than half of all gas stations across the United States now offer gas for less than $4 a gallon.
— President Biden (@POTUS) August 3, 2022
Americans have seen gas prices drop by about 60 cents a gallon in the last month, saving the average driver about $30/month.
An extra 60 cents a gallon back in your pocket is meaningful. It’s breathing room.
And we’re not done working to lower costs for families.
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) July 23, 2022
The administration has repeatedly called for oil and gas companies to increase their production, but Exxon Mobil told the DCNF last week that several refineries were already setting records for throughput. One driver of high prices has been worldwide shutdowns of refineries, leading to a bottleneck in supply, Reuters reports.
The current decline in gas prices can be partly attributed to slowing demand as economic growth slows or contracts worldwide, according to The Wall Street Journal. The surge in prices, which peaked at a national average above $5 dollars in June, led to nearly two thirds of Americans changing their driving habits, with nearly a quarter making “major changes”, according to a July AAA survey.
If the United States enters a recession, the price of fuel would likely drop faster, Tom Kloza, head of energy analysis for the Oil Price Information Service, told the WSJ.
The White House did not respond to a Daily Caller News Foundation request for comment.
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