U.S. retail gasoline prices are poised to average more than $4 a gallon in three states for the first time in 13 years as energy prices surge and fan fears of inflation.
The average price of gasoline is already above $4 a gallon in California and Hawaii and, at $3.97 a gallon, is poised to cross the mark in Nevada as well, according to AAA. The last time that happened in three states at the same time was in 2008, a time when oil surged to an all-time record of more than $147 a barrel.
Average pump prices should exceed $4 in the third state of Nevada “because we continue to see the price of oil rise,” Devin Gladden, AAA spokeperson, said by phone.
While oil prices aren’t as high as they were a decade ago, other factors are contributing to higher pump prices in the Western U.S., including higher fuel taxes in California and a tanker truck driver shortage that’s interfering with fuel deliveries to Nevada, Gladden said. The record average pump price in the U.S. was $4.11 a gallon, reached in July 2008.
The Biden Administration is facing increased pressure to relieve rising energy costs by tapping the country’s strategic reserves or by banning U.S. exports entirely. The President said he’s directed his top economic aides to focus on reducing energy costs, which he blamed for accelerating U.S. inflation.