Gas Prices Should Cost Between $4 to $5 per Gallon by Summer
There has been a noticeable trend in how gas prices have gone up this year, as the national average of gas prices has risen 8.8 percent. The current average for Ohio is $3.667, according to AAA’s Oil Price Information Service and Weight Express daily report. That is slightly lower than the national average, which according to the report, is at $3.688. A drive around Athens can show that the city’s average is currently at $3.690.
Since the beginning of the year, gas prices have risen by 30 cents, which is a nearly nine percent increase. In the past two weeks alone, the national average rose by 18 cents. Analysts now predict gas prices will continue to rise anywhere between four to five dollars by this summer.
Political critics and economists put the blame for the price hike on many different factors. A columnist for the Seattle Times, Kevin Hall, puts the blame on international events.
“The ostensible reason for climbing crude prices on the New York Mercantile Exchange, where contracts for future delivery of oil are traded, is growing fears of a military confrontation with Iran in the Persian Gulf’s Strait of Hormuz, through which 20 percent of the world’s oil passes,” wrote Hall in the Seattle Times. “Other factors include last month’s bankruptcy of Petroplus, a big European refiner, and a fire at BP’s Cherry Point refinery.”
Others are blaming the hike on President Obama. Ohio Republicans are blasting the president’s energy stances on the rapid price hike. In a newsletter sent out by the Ohio GOP, top Ohio Republicans are claiming Obama’s stance on not supporting the Keystone XL Pipeline as one reason for the price hike. In addition, they claim the delay in allowing Ohio permits for developing natural gas technology in Ohio and the Gulf of Mexico as a cause for the hike.
Obama does support more production of gasoline in the U.S., but only as long as it’s done in an environmentally sound way. According to USA Today, former White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs stated, “our domestic oil production is at an eight year high … and new sources of energy are being developed.”
Gibbs went on to say it is necessary for the development of new efficient energy technologies in order to reduce the gas prices.
Although the cause of the price hike is being debated, there is no doubt oil prices have been on the rise. In the past month, oil prices have risen 10 percent, topping $106 per barrel.
According to AAA, the highest average prices for gas are in California, Alaska and Hawaii, where gas costs over $4. Hawaii has the highest state average at $4.315 per gallon.
The highest national gas price average occurred in July 2008, when prices hit $4.114 per gallon. It isn’t supposed to get better at the pump, where prices are expected to continue to climb throughout the year.