Lauren Moye, FISM News
Rising crude oil prices have driven the national gas average up, with both surging to levels not seen since former-President Barrack Obama was in office. Experts worry that oil will continue to climb, leaving working Americans struggling with their gas expenses.
On Friday, U.S. oil prices reached their highest point since 2014, according to CNBC. WTI closed on that day at $92.31 per barrel. On the same day, AAA announced that the national gas price average had also reached a seven-year-high at $3.42 per gallon.
The national average of gas continued to rise through the weekend. Today, according to AAA, the national gas price rests at $3.441. The lowest gas price can be found in Mississippi at $3.085 while Californians have a hefty $4.680 average.
“Gas prices at the pump are up,” President Joe Biden told reporters on Friday. “We’re working to bring them down. But they’re up.”
For comparison, on Feb. 7, 2021, gas could be purchased in New Jersey for $2.602 per gallon. California held the highest average on that day at $3.447. Experts warn it could continue to rise if oil prices also surge, despite pushback by U.S. automobile drivers who are traveling less.
“The tension between Russia and Ukraine continues to contribute to rising oil prices,” motoring travel organization AAA warned days ago. “Russia is a member of OPEC+, and any sanctions based on their actions toward Ukraine may cause it to withhold crude oil from the global market.”
As of 10:18 AM (EST) today, the price for WTI has only fallen slightly to set at $91.33 per barrel. Experts warn that $100 per barrel is possible by Memorial Day.
Chevron CEO Mike Wirth told Fox News, “Could we see $100 oil? I think we could – we’re not far from it right now, and a lot of it depends on things that are very hard to predict that could happen around the world.”
Wirth also referenced “geopolitical concerns” that were “creating jitters” in the stock prices. He declined to comment if President Biden had been in contact with the gas company in case conditions in the east continued to deteriorate, prompting Russia to withhold oil from European countries.
On Friday, White House press secretary Jen Psaki commented that the White House was looking at options to keep gas prices from soaring higher, such as releasing some of the nation’s Strategic Petroleum Reserves.
However, she was dismissive of opening domestic oil lines as one option to combat surging prices. Psaki said, “I would point you to the oil companies on what available places they have and if they are maximizing that. My understanding is they are not.”