Gas Prices Are Over $5 a Gallon – 5 Things You Should Know
by Richard Higgs, July 25th, 2022
While there’s no single entity to blame for the rising cost of gasoline, a perfect storm of war, inflation, and a continued global pandemic have all contributed. The average national price for gasoline has crossed the five dollar mark—and it has consumers considering alternatives like walking, biking, or even selling their car outright. Here’s five things you need to know about the gas spike.
1. Even with Rising Gas Prices, There’s a Right Time to Fill Up
As it turns out, there are rising gas prices on a day-to-day level too. A survey from GasBuddy revealed that gas is generally cheapest near the beginning of the week, on Monday. As the week goes on, it gets worse—with Wednesday, Thursday, and Saturday found to be the most expensive. Be sure to fill up before mid-week until energy prices change.
2. There’s No National Gas Tax Holiday… Yet
President Joe Biden’s proposal for a gas tax holiday this past month was met with cheers from consumers. His plan would essentially call for a pause on collection of tax when you fill up July through September—with some estimates assuming that would mean nearly a 20 cents per gallon savings on gas. The proposal has seen pushback, however, and may not come to fruition.
3. The Idea of a Gas Tax Holiday May Not Be as Positive for the Economy as It Seems
There are critics of the potential gas tax holiday’s effectiveness on both sides of the party line.
“There is no guarantee a gas tax suspension would reduce prices at the pump or stem the broader inflation affecting the global economy,” wrote Oregon Democratic Rep. Earl Blumenaur in a recent letter to the President, with his sentiments echoed by a number of house Dems and Republicans.
He added that such a break could actually help oil companies’ profits in the form of tax or other breaks — something consumers certainly don’t want to see.
4. Rising Gas Prices Mean Rebates May Be on the Horizon
President Biden confirmed that a gas rebate card program is also being considered—though a computer chip shortage could make that a problem in the short-term.
On the state level, California is the only jurisdiction with a rebate program already in place. Residents will receive “inflation relief” checks of up to $1,050 per family, in addition to a suspension of state sales tax on diesel fuel. The city of Chicago is in the process of doling out 50,000 prepaid $150 gas cards and 100,000 prepaid $50 transit cards, per their city council.
5. Estimates Could See the Economy Host a Further 37% Surge by August
Unfortunately, experts are projecting it may be a while before rising gas prices cease and the economy rebounds. The Russian invasion of Ukraine is one culprit, as the former gas-powerhouse refuses to end fighting and thus is unable to offer their fuel to America. Biden has pushed oil mega companies’ to expand their drilling operations in an effort to up supply, but he’s seen pushback. Companies like ExxonMobil claim that their obligation to their shareholders limits any potentially costly expansion — even at the price of the consumer.
A Final Word
Rising gas prices have been another blow to the consumer as the economy looks to find its footing. As of now, all options are on the table, from a gas tax holiday to gas rebate cards. In any case, it may be a while before Americans see true relief at the pump.