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Between the easing of pandemic restrictions and the start of the Russia-Ukraine conflict, 2022 has been a crazy year so far. Another issue that’s impacting many Americans is the seemingly ever-increasing price of gasoline. What are the numbers related to this change and why are prices rising? Read on below to find out.
As of March 11, the average price of gasoline hit $4.33 per gallon, a new record high. Gas prices haven’t peaked this high since the financial crisis in 2008. Prices may be higher or lower in different areas across the country, with the most expensive areas in California reaching up to $5.75 per gallon.
Inflation is at a 40-year peak, and gas prices aren’t the only prices rising. With prices of everything from real estate to a gallon of milk continuing to rise, much of this gas price increase may be simply attributable to inflation.
Why are gas prices rising?
There are many theories about the reason behind rising gas prices. One idea that may be contributing is the ongoing U.S. government sanctions against Russian oil. On March 8th, President Biden banned the U.S. from importing oil from Russia. Biden warned that the move could have domestic consequences, and rising gas prices may be such a consequence.
Something else that might add to rising gas is a post-pandemic spike in demand for gas. During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, gas prices dropped below $2 per gallon in some areas of the country, but now that nearly everyone is back to work and driving at normal rates, the demand for gas has risen, and gas infrastructure may take some time to catch up to this heightened level of demand. In the meantime, prices are rising.
Influencing crime across the nation
As gas prices rise, they influence other things across the country, and one factor that has been impacted is crime rates. In recent weeks, there have been an increasing number of reports of gasoline-related crimes. This ranges from people drilling into vehicle gas tanks to big-time operations stealing hundreds of gallons of gas from the underground gas tanks at gas stations.
Large SUVs and cars with large gas tanks may be particularly susceptible to crime, so at this time, it’s a good idea to keep a watchful eye out for your vehicle. Many Americans are considering purchasing security cameras to watch over their driveways.
When will gas prices come back down?
It’s uncertain when gas prices will begin to fall again, but the last week has been promising. The price of a barrel of crude oil fell to $100 from its high of $123 after the Russia-Ukraine conflict first started. Prices may stay high until the conflict concludes, and while it’s helpful to be optimistic, it may be wise to consider purchasing an electric vehicle or saving money by carpooling – or simply driving less for the time being.