The national average price of a gallon of gasoline hit $4.37 on Tuesday, a new record unadjusted for inflation but still a dollar shy of the 2008 peak, which would be equivalent to about $5.37 today. The pain at the pump comes as oil remains over $100 per barrel, although below its March peak of $130.
The ripple effects of the stubbornly high prices, resulting from the record corporate profiteering off the pandemic and consequent labor and supply constraints, as well as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, are being felt across the U.S. economy. On Tuesday, President Biden vowed to keep reducing inflation his “top domestic priority” as he faces sagging approval ratings and political attacks from Republicans seeking to falsely pin the blame for expensive gasoline and inflation on climate policy.
Meanwhile, the oil and gas industry is leveraging the crisis by pushing for deregulation and demanding new public investment to expand U.S. extraction and entrench new export capacity – despite market projections that anticipate sharply decreased demand, and counter to findings from April’s IPCC report that said fossil fuels must be phased out if we are to avoid unmanageable global warming, as even existing and planned capacity will break the carbon budget and bring catastrophic levels of warming. (Axios, The Hill, CNBC, E&E $)