These 10 States Are Getting Clobbered by Spiking Gas Prices
Another day, another record high for gas prices.
The national average for regular gasoline hit an all-time high of $4.76 per gallon Friday, according to the automotive club AAA. That's an increase of about 5 cents since yesterday, 56 cents since last month and a staggering $1.72 since last year.
While gas is no doubt eating away an increasingly large portion of budgets all across the country, the ultimate sting at the pump can vary greatly depending on where you live.
For example, Georgia is currently home to the nation’s lowest average gas price: $4.22. Georgia is one of several states lowering gas prices by pausing state gas taxes. New York became the latest to join this group, when it launched a state gas tax holiday on June 1 that will last through the end of the year.
California, it should come as no surprise, is the country’s most expensive state for gas. The average for the Golden State is about $6.25, with Mono County nearing the $7 mark.
Western states in general are plagued by higher gas prices, and eight states now have an average gas price of $5 or more: Alaska, Arizona, Hawaii, Illinois, Nevada, Oregon, Washington and (of course) California.
But sometimes, the biggest shock for folks isn’t how expensive their state is overall but rather how quickly prices are rising.
10 states where gas prices are rising the most
Here’s a look at which states saw the largest weekly increase in gas prices, from May 26 to June 2:
- Indiana: 33 cents
- Ohio: 31 cents
- Illinois: 30 cents
- Kentucky: 26 cents
- Wisconsin: 26 cents
- Michigan: 24 cents
- Colorado: 21 cents
- New Mexico: 19 cents
- Nebraska: 18 cents
- Minnesota: 18 cents
Gas prices continue to climb relentlessly despite the Biden administration’s efforts to contain them, amid other ongoing efforts to lower inflation in general.
In the spring, President Biden announced the largest release of oil from the U.S.’s Strategic Petroleum Reserve, which would put an average of 1 million extra barrels of oil on the market daily over the course of six months. The president also coordinated with international partners to release a total of 240 million barrels from global reserves.
Additionally, Biden and the Environmental Protection Agency are relaxing rules to allow cheaper E15 gasoline, which is gas composed of 15% ethanol, to be sold this summer. The White House says this could help families save money on gas.
During a speech from his Delaware home Friday, Biden praised the overall economy following the release of the May jobs report but noted the prolonged pang of high gas prices.
“The two challenges on the minds of most working families are prices at the pump and prices at the grocery store,” Biden said. “The price of gas is up $1.40 since the beginning of the year when Putin began amassing troops at the Ukrainian border."
Why are gas prices so high?
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has affected global oil supply, causing the price of oil to surge in recent months. And when oil prices surge, so do prices at the pump.
As oil supply remains low, gas prices may keep marching higher in the coming months. Experts say average prices could easily top $5 nationwide soon, and crossing the $6 mark is a possibility this summer.
Speaking to reporters Wednesday following a meeting at the White House, Biden said his actions so far have kept prices from rising even higher but conceded that his powers to bring gas prices down are limited.
“We can’t take immediate action — that I’m aware of yet — to figure out how we bring down the price of gasoline back to $3 a gallon,” he said.
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