Gas Prices Creeping Higher Again as Election Cycle Heats Up

Pumping Gas
by Nick Pope


The national average cost of a gallon of gas at the pump jumped by 20 cents over the past month, according to AAA.

DCNF-logoCurrently, Americans are paying about $3.55 per gallon on average, up from about $3.35 a month ago, according to AAA’s data. Goldman Sachs, one of the largest financial institutions in the U.S., has recently cautioned that prices could surge above $4 per gallon by May, according to Yahoo Finance.

If Goldman’s projections turn out to be accurate, soaring gas prices could once again become a political albatross for President Joe Biden and other Democrats as the 2024 election cycle heats up. A similar dynamic unfolded in the lead-up to the 2022 midterm elections, prompting the Biden administration to release 180 million barrels of oil from the strategic petroleum reserve (SPR) to tame prices.

However, the administration has only managed to offset a small share of those releases with refill purchases in the time since, and the SPR now sits at its lowest levels since 1983, according to data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Some Biden administration officials have reportedly expressed concerns about a potential return of high gas prices, especially because the SPR is no longer as well-equipped to blunt a fresh price shock as it was before the releases of 2021 and 2022.

Meanwhile, oil prices ticked above $85 per barrel this week for the first time since October 2023, according to Bloomberg News. While these prices are below the peak observed in 2022, they are still well above the administration’s stated $79 target price for SPR replenishment purchases.

The Biden administration has taken numerous steps to curb domestic oil and gas production since assuming power in 2021. Some of these actions include releasing the most restrictive offshore leasing schedule in modern American history, moving to take millions of acres of land off the table for drilling activity and cancelling previously-awarded lease sales in Alaska.

The White House and the Biden campaign did not respond immediately to requests for comment.

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Nick Pope is a reporter at Daily Caller News Foundation.
Photo “Pumping Gas” by Engin_Akyurt.



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