Americans Are Paying Highest Gas Prices Since 2014 — and Some Experts Say Costs May Keep Increasing

The national average for a gallon of gas is now $3.24, an increase of over $1 compared to what Americans were paying this time last year

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Gas prices in the United States have soared this year — and are expected to keep rising for now.

According to AAA, the national average cost for a gallon of gas is now $3.24, an increase of over $1 compared to what Americans were paying this time last year. California had the highest average at $4.43 with some counties topping over $5, while Texas saw the lowest average at $2.87.

The last time consumers saw the chart-topping gas prices was seven years ago in October 2014, per AAA.

"Global economic uncertainty and supply chain concerns caused by the lingering COVID-19 pandemic could be playing a role in keeping crude oil prices elevated," Andrew Gross, AAA spokesperson, said in a recent press release.

Although Gross noted that an increase in production could help provide relief, it's unclear when people can expect to see lower prices at the gas station.

"National average #gasprices up again to $3.23/gal overnight on the heels of large price increases in several states," Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis for GasBuddy, a tech company that helps people find the cheapest gas in their areas, tweeted on Thursday.

He added, "Expect to hit $3.25/gal in the next couple days and then possibly $3.30/gal next week."

gas prices
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Gas prices have reached a high as producers have slowed adding barrels to the market after the demand for petroleum products saw a major dip early on during the COVID-19 pandemic, causing financial strain for the companies, CNBC reported.

Additionally, most oil production in the Gulf of Mexico was temporarily stopped due to Hurricane Ida, per CBS News.

Because petrol drillers haven't increased production, it's driven up the price of oil and subsequently gas, according to The New York Times.

"In short, I think we are having supply-chain problems," Jeffery Born, energy market expert at Northeastern University, recently told CBS News.

gas prices
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The gas industry has faced trouble at every angle this year.

In April, experts warned there would be a gas shortage due to a lack of drivers to actually get the fuel from refineries to service stations, the industry trade group National Tank Truck Carriers (NTTC) said in a report, according to NBC News.

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NTTC Executive Vice President Ryan Streblow told CNN at the time that the industry has been dealing with driver shortages for a while, and the issue has "grown exponentially" during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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