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US gas prices highest this year, expected to keep climbing

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
US gas prices are at a level not seen since 2014. (Photo via News Channel 12)

The US has hit its highest average for gas prices yet this year, with the average price for just one gallon of gas standing at $3.30 on Wednesday.

The number was up 7.5 cents from a month ago and $1.08 higher than a year ago, according to Gas Buddy.

Gas Buddy Analyst Patrick De Haan said the current spike in prices is caused by, firstly, OPEC, which is holding back oil production and, secondly, demand for oil and gasoline, which is increasing as Covid-19 cases fall.

“With OPEC holding back oil production and strong global oil demand, the situation will no doubt pave the road with even higher gas prices in the weeks ahead. Until several bottlenecks ease, including supply chains and low global inventories of oil, natural gas and coal, we’ll be stuck feeling the pinch of rising oil and gasoline prices.”

The states with the highest average per-gallon prices include California ($4.45), Hawaii ($4.13) and Nevada ($3.90). The lowest average prices are in Texas ($2.92), Oklahoma ($2.94) and Arkansas ($2.97).

Meanwhile, the average price for one gallon of gas in North Carolina was a little lower than the national average, at $3.12, however, in New Bern, some gas stations are charging close to $3.20 per gallon.

“It just continues to go up,” said De Haan. “I think it’s just a matter of time until we get to $3.35 and maybe $3.40 until things get caught up.”

“The bad news is that for now, all I see is the upward trend at the pump continuing into the weeks ahead with no sign of relief just yet,” he added.

The national average price of diesel has also increased to $7.80 in the last week and now it stands at $3.53 per gallon, according to Gas Buddy.

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