Gas stations across the country are still facing fuel shortages, driving prices to a seven-year high as more than an estimated 40 million Americans prepare to hit the road for the Fourth of July weekend, the New York Post reports.
The nationwide average price for a gallon of regular unleaded gas hit $3.09 on Monday, the highest price Americans have been asked to pay ahead of the holiday weekend since 2014, according to data from the American Automobile Association. The average gas price per gallon in the U.S. was on average $2.17 in June of last year.
AAA has estimated the most Americans this year, roughly 43.6 million, will travel via car this weekend.
“Today, 89 percent of US gas stations are selling regular unleaded for $2.75 or more. That is a stark increase over last July 4 when only a quarter of stations were selling gas for more than $2.25,” said Jeanette McGee, a AAA spokesperson. “Road trippers will pay the most to fill up for the holiday since 2014.”
AAA believed that prices at the pump will likely continue to rise through the end of summer. With prices in some major cities, Los Angeles rising nearly to $6 last week.
Many have attributed the skyrocketing prices to a surging demand as Americans finally emerge from pandemic lockdowns. Others are attributing the shortage to the lack of tank truck drivers which has left some stations in many parts of the country short on fuel.
GasBuddy Head of Petroleum Analysis Patrick de Hann has warned, while talking to Fox News, that prices could potential increase. “With hurricane season soon coming into its prime, we have plenty more catalysts for a rise in price, and few that could restrain the situation,” he said. “Motorists should prepare to dig deeper for the second half of the summer, unfortunately.”
When asked about whether the Biden administration’s push to “go green” is another factor to consider, de Hann said that it’s “a little bit too soon” to tell if the White House’s policy agenda has played a role in the prices Americans are seeing now, but acknowledged, “Down the road, absolutely, the Biden administration’s push to go green will probably have more of an impact.”