Why are Gas Prices so High?

Bella Mendez, Reporter

Across the nation, gas prices are on the rise, and many are starting to worry. Most citizens are still unaware of the true causes of the inflated gas prices. Plus, they are starting to wonder about how it will continue to affect their families. Due to this, it is important to become informed on why and how gas prices are affecting our lives. 

The main cause of the rise in gas prices is due to Russia’s recent attack on Ukraine. After this attack, the Biden Administration took action by banning Russian imports, which created a decline in the availability of crude oil. Also, according to the Washington Post, it created a “stark imbalance between supply and demand”.  Even though only three percent of oil from Russia is consumed by the United States, Frank Macchlarola, Senior Vice President of policy, economic, and regulatory affairs at the American Petroleum Institute, told the Washington Post that “…Russia is a major producer on the world stage, volatility there makes oil prices rise globally”. However, others believe that different factors are contributing to these rising prices. 

Many believe that domestic factors have led to the rise in gas prices. To elaborate, once the Biden administration went into office they focused on improving the issue of drilling permits on public lands. However, according to the Washington Post, it “…halted new oil and gas leases on federal lands last month, quashed the Keystone XL oil pipeline and proposed new fees for drilling on public lands and waters”. These factors have led many citizens to believe that domestic drilling is a significant part of the rise in gas prices. However, Phillip Bump, a colleague at the Washington Post, explains that “..domestic gas prices are determined more by international oil prices than by domestic drilling”. In the end, domestic factors do affect the rise of oil prices, but they aren’t as significant as foreign affairs. 

Lastly, other factors, such as COVID, are also being blamed for the rise in gas prices. When the pandemic started, many started quarantining and stopped using their cars as a result. So, oil companies were forced to decline production to not go bankrupt. But, once everything started to open up again, there were some problems. According to the Washington Post, Patrick De Haan, GasBuddy’s head of petroleum analysis, mentions that “After shutting down wells and laying off employees, oil companies have been slow to catch up the rapid rise in gasoline demands. That caused prices to climb”. To conclude, as we get back into our normal routines with COVID, additional adjustments need to be redefined, hence, the reason why gas prices are still rising. 

With these factors in mind, many are starting to ask questions like “How long will it take for the prices to lower?” and “How high will the prices get?”. When it comes to prices being lowered, there is little hope yet. According to the Washington Post, Devin Gladden (spokesman for auto club AAA and adviser for the energy department during the Obama Administration) told them that “As long as fighting between Russia and Ukraine continues, gas prices are likely to remain inflated”. So, with the unpredictability of gas prices, it is hard to determine when they will be lowered. Also, as prices keep getting higher and higher, many are concerned with just how far they will get. According to CNBC, data from the AAA shows that the  “..national average for gas hit $4.009, highest since July 2008”. But, it seems that it won’t stop there. To further explain, Patrick De Haan informs CNBC to “Forget the $ 4-gallon mark, the nation will soon set a new all-time record highs and we could push closer to a national average of $4.50”. In conclusion, it is hard to determine how long the prices will be this high, but unfortunately, it seems that they will continue to rise.