(NEXSTAR) — If you’re like me, you may have driven by your neighborhood gas station, peeked at the price sign and thought, “What the heck is going on?” Gas prices have jumped as high as 40 cents over the last week at some fuel stations as the national average has started to creep back up.
AAA reports prices up to $4.37 for a gallon of regular gasoline. The fluctuating oil prices and tight gas supply are to blame for this most recent spike in prices, according to AAA. The group expects the cost of gas to keep increasing as oil prices stay above $100 per barrel.
In April, we saw gas prices drop some 20 cents after hitting a high of $4.33 per gallon in the middle of March. It was the highest-ever recorded average price. However, that record didn’t hold for long according, and according to Tom Kloza, global head of energy analysis at the Oil Price Information Service, prices are still increasing. He told CNN, “The market is still scary.”
During the March spike, he said, “I would not be laying odds on DraftKings that $4.33 will be the highest price over the next few months. We may go higher.”
At the end of March, President Joe Biden announced a plan to release 1 million barrels of oil from the U.S. reserve in an effort to lower gas prices. Temporary relief came shortly thereafter.
“Americans should already be seeing the savings. Although it’s only gone down about 18 cents, the savings are starting,” Biden said.
Speaking with Nexstar’s Hannah Brandt, AAA spokesperson Andrew Gross said there are limited things a president can do to impact the price.
“There are very few weapons in the president’s arsenal they can use, and he’s pretty much trying everything,” Gross said.
What happens from here? It’s difficult to know, according to Todd Staples, president of the Texas Oil and Gas Association. He told KXAN it’s difficult to predict when there will be a consistent and stable price decline due to the Russia-Ukraine conflict.
“It’s frustrating for people filling up at the pump, because they want affordable gasoline, and our industry is not being held by all of the volatility,” said Staples.
As a comparison, the price for a gallon of regular gas one year ago was $2.89.