Average gas prices have reached their highest level in seven years, amid rising inflation and supply chain problems as the economy recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to AAA’s Average Gas Price Calculator, the national average cost of a regular gallon of gasoline hit $ 3.297 on Thursday, the highest since September 2014, when the average monthly cost hit $ 3.387.
The US Energy Information Administration reported a nationwide average cost of $ 3.272 per gallon in September 2021, the highest price since September 2014 when gas averaged $ 3.484 per gallon. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil futures, the US oil benchmark, topped $ 80 last week.
HOUSE REPUBLICANS ARE AIMING FOR BID THROUGH “ANTI-AMERICAN ENERGY PRICES” AS GAS PRICES ARE RISING
The high prices come after OPEC and allied oil-producing countries – including Russia – opted not to boost oil production and instead stayed on course with their phased approach to restoring production that was reduced during the pandemic.
Andy Gross, an AAA spokesman, highlighted the OPEC decision in a statement to FOX Business.
“The main reason for this recent rise in gas prices is crude oil, which is typically between 50 and 60% of the price at the pump,” Gross told FOX Business. “And last week’s decision by OPEC and its oil-producing allies not to increase production only exacerbated the upward momentum in crude oil prices, which are now closing above $ 80 a barrel a day.”
Rising oil prices are also accompanied by high inflation. US consumer prices rose the fastest in 13 years in September. The consumer price index rose 5.4% year-on-year in September, the strongest increase since 2008. Prices rose 0.4% month-on-month. Overall, energy prices rose by 1.3% in September and reached a point of 24.8% more than in the previous year.
On Thursday House Republicans criticized President Biden for implementing what they termed “anti-American energy policies,” including Biden’s calls on OPEC and other oil-producing countries to increase production.
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Carol Miller, RW.Va., and more than 100 Republican lawmakers argued that the government risks encouraging “well-known American opponents,” including Russia and Iran, by asking OPEC to increase production. They claim the move is part of a political pattern that has violated American energy independence, including the cancellation of the Keystone XL oil pipeline and a pause on new state oil and gas permits.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters on Wednesday she was “unaware” that the government is contacting oil and gas companies to cut gas prices, Reuters reported.
The White House did not immediately respond to requests for comment from FOX Business.