Gasoline prices price in America has risen and risen sharply recently. One year ago, according to AAA, the average price of a gallon of regular gas was $2.46. The number is now $3.44 and most days moves upward.
There are several causes of high gas prices. The primary factor is oil prices. State gas taxes are another. Transportation costs and refinery costs also contribute.
Oil prices have risen at a breathtaking pace recently. They are nearly $92 a barrel, which is up from $56 a year ago. A recent article in Barron’s carried the headline: “$100 Oil Might Just Be the Beginning”. At that level, gas prices could rise about $4. The last time that happened was in 2008, in the midst of The Great Recession.
Several states have gas prices well below the national number. Most of these are near the Gulf of Mexico, which has tremendous crude reserves, and the massive refineries south of Houston.
The price of gas in Mississippi is only $3.056 per gallon or regular according to Gas Buddy. That makes it the lowest among all states. The only other states below $3.10 are Oklahoma at $3.017, Texas at $3.074, and Arkansas at $3.081.
The state with the most expensive gas is California at $4.662.
State gas taxes in Mississippi are $0.3719, the second-lowest behind Alaska at $0.3353, according to the American Petroleum Institute.
These figures compare to the national figure of $0.5709. California’s is the highest at $0.8655.
CNN recently posted an opinion piece by Tom Kloza, the Global Head of Energy Analysis for Oil Price Information Service. He wrote “…if Omicron doesn’t result in another round of widespread lockdowns or crackdowns on social gatherings, we can expect to see record-high gas prices nearing $4 a gallon in dozens of states this year.”
This opinion partially misses the point. Gas prices continue to be primarily caused by oil prices. Most people fail to remember July 11, 2008, when crude reached $147.27. While prices may not get back to that level, they do not need to drive $4 gas.
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