Every week it feels like people are anxiously watching and waiting to see what happens to their local gas prices.
Because of COVID, international conflict, and a fear of investing more money into the oil industry, gas prices hit an all-time national high in mid-June at $5.02 a gallon. However, since that peak, prices have continued to decline.
This decline is welcomed by motorists everywhere, but it still doesn’t change the fact that gas is about $1.67 more a gallon than a year ago.
Keep reading to learn more about local and national gas prices and what to expect for the rest of the year.
WHY ARE GAS PRICES DECLINING?
As of July 4, 2022, the national average price for a gallon of gas was $4.81, according to AAA. That price is almost ten cents cheaper than the week prior.
Part of this change is the decline in demand. Today, Americans use about 8.9 million barrels of gasoline daily compared to the 9.11 million at the end of June.
HOW HIGH WILL GAS PRICES GO IN 2022?
While we hit a dollar high of $5.02 a gallon in mid-June, we still haven’t surpassed the 2008 peak of $4.14, which would be about $5.37 now. However, despite the decrease in demand, experts believe we haven’t seen the end of rising gas prices.
Ed Hirs, an economist at the University of Houston, believes that the national average will hit $6.00 a gallon by Labor Day.
Natasha Kaneva, JP Morgan’s head of commodities research, claimed in a May report that the price of gas could spike to $6.20 a gallon as early as August.
HOW HIGH WILL GAS PRICES GO IN MISSOURI?
As of July 6, 2022, Missouri’s average gas price per gallon was $4.50. However, in urban settings like St. Louis, gas prices are as high as $4.79 a gallon. So, what are Missouri lawmakers doing about this?
Some states are implementing a gas tax holiday as the White House calls on states to suspend their gas tax and urges Congress to pass legislation to pause the federal gas tax for three months.
In Illinois, Governor J.B. Pritzker proposed freezing the state’s gas tax at 39.2 cents per gallon, and as of July 1, the state has suspended the planned inflation-adjustment increase to the fuel tax through December 31, 2022.
Unfortunately, in Missouri, while the state legislature is considering suspending the state gas tax at 19.5 cents a gallon for six months, it has not advanced, and the tax is set to increase sometime this July.
Drivers can file for a refund of the money they’ve spent on the tax since October 2021, but only if they’ve saved their receipts. Refund applications are available on the Missouri Department of Revenue’s website.
WHEN WILL GAS PRICES DROP?
In response to the oil shortage and the subsequent gas price increase, the White House began releasing a million barrels of oil daily from the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve.
While this withdrawal is said to last about six months and could lower gas prices between ten and 35 cents a gallon, it is only a minor fix for a much larger problem.
Overall, it is unclear when gas prices are expected to drop and settle at more affordable rates.
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