Overnight Friday, gas prices hit a national average of $4.76, according to AAA – an increase of nearly 20 cents in the span of a week.
Along the US West Coast, the pain at the pump is even worse, with Californians now seeing an also previously unseen average of $6.24 cents. The state saw gas costs surpass the $6 mark for the first time in history over the weekend.
With that said, some parts of the Golden State have been more afflicted by the fuel cost crisis more than others, with one station in Mendocino, along the California coast, recording prices just cents away from $10 – the highest ever in history.
The station, Schlafer’s Auto Repair, is just one of tens of thousands of stations that has seen its gasoline costs soar to astronomical heights during the Biden administration.
Those filling up in states like California and have been particularly affected by the rising costs, with the state’s national average having surged by more than $2 in the span of a year.
Breaking down the current rates by city, the average price of a gallon of gas in San Francisco will run motorists $6.50, whereas in San Jose drivers will have to shell out $6.38 per gallon. In Oakland, gas costs a hefty $6.37 a gallon, and Los Angeles, $6.26.
The figures all come as at least $2 more than costs seen in those cities at this time last year.
The raising rates come despite recent efforts from the The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) to ramp up oil output to refuel the country’s refineries – whose stock has reached crisis levels in recent weeks.
The oil coalition on Thursday agreed to boost it output by 648,000 barrels per day (bpd) a month in July and August – rather than the 432,000 officials had previously promised.
Supplies at the US’ refineries, however, remain tight. On Thursday, a US weekly inventory report showed crude stock had fallen by a more-than-expected 5.1 million barrels. Gasoline inventories have also dropped to dangerous levels.
All the while, demand for fuel has continued to rise – most recently due to the fact that China’s business hub Shanghai and capital, Beijing, have relaxed COVID restrictions following strict lockdown orders that have persisted for months.
The Chinese government has since vowed to stimulate the world economy.
Experts, meanwhile, remain adamant that costs will continue to rise during the summer, warning the national average will likely surpass $6 before fall – spurring many would-be travelers to stay put during the typically rampant driving season.
‘It’s really frustrating,’ Arizona mom Laura Dena told Fox 5 NY Friday of the rising fuel costs, which she says have hindered her and her family’s travel plans this summer.
She said she and her sons typically travel to Southern California around Memorial Day weekend to escape scorching heat seen in her home state.
However, now that it more than $100 to fill up her truck, she says she has begrudgingly decided to stay home.
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