Average U.S. gas prices topped $5 per gallon Thursday, according to Forbes, who cited fuel data platform GasBuddy.
The average cost of a gallon of gas is now $5.005, which is a two-cent increase from Wednesday’s record-high $4.991 average.
Prices are steepest in California, where the average price per gallon is $6.41. The rest of America could be paying just as high in a matter of months, according to JP Morgan analysts who predict $6 averages by the end of August.
The rising prices have left many suffering. Automobile club AAA noted a a 32% increase in out-of-gas calls in April, compared to the same month last year. This number (50,787 to be exact) is also more than double the 20,000 drivers who sought help from AAA because they were out of fuel in April 2020.
A survey by the Washington Post found that between April 21 and May 12, 44% of drivers said they were only able to partially fill their car’s gas tank.
Patrick De Haan, GasBuddy’s head of petroleum analysis, warned in a statement of the “high probability that prices could go even higher in the weeks ahead.” GasBuddy says the cause of the continuously rising prices are due to a number of things, including, but not limited to: increased seasonal demand, high-priced oil, diminished refining capacity, and Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine.
President Joe Biden has repeatedly blamed Russia’s war with Ukraine for inflation in the U.S., which he calls “Putin’s price hike.” He also argues that oil companies are to blame. “Oil companies, instead of everybody, says, ‘Well, Biden won’t let them drill.’ They have 9,000 drilling sites that they already own that are there. They’re not doing it,” Biden told Jimmy Kimmel on Wednesday. “You know why? Because they make more money not drilling and buying back their own stock.”
According to a poll, conducted by the Trafalgar Group and the Convention of States Action in late May, 59.9% of registered voters blame Biden’s policies and spending for inflation, compared to 31.6% who blamed the war between Russia and Ukraine and 8.5% who were unsure.
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