Nation sees rates climb; local average is $4.648 a gallon
Gas prices across the nation have risen to their highest level in more than seven years.
On Friday, the national average for a gallon of gas was $3.423 per gallon, but California’s average was well above that at $4.663 per gallon, according to the American Automobile Association.
The average price for Santa Barbara County on Friday was $4.648 a gallon. Alpine County has the highest average in the state at $5.499. Kings County comes in at the state’s lowest at $4.342.
One year ago, the national average was almost a dollar lower at $2.44, reported CNBC. Friday’s prices are the highest that they have been since Sept. 10, 2014, according to data from AAA.
“Gas prices at the pump are up. We’re working to bring them down, but they’re up,” President Joe Biden told CNBC.
And the news ahead isn’t good, according to an expert on a cable network.
“It’s going to be potentially a pricier year than anticipated,” Patrick De Haan, head of Petroleum analysis at GasBuddy. told CNBC. Mr. De Haan predicted that the national average could be more than $4 per gallon by Memorial Day.
On Thursday, oil prices went above $90 a barrel for the first time since 2014, reported CNBC.
The U.S. oil benchmark, West Texas Intermediate Crude futures, “gained more than 2% to trade as high as $90.23 per barrel,” according to CNBC. Prices haven’t been above the $90 mark since October 2014. Brent crude, the international benchmark, gained 1.7% to trade at $91.
“The market remains bullish on oil prices, as it has since May 2020 when OPEC+ enacted mega cuts to its output bringing oil from negative territory to a quite reasonable jump away from $100 per barrel,” Louise Dickson, senior oil markets analyst at Rystad Energy, told CNBC. “The prevailing expectation is that the market, despite some downward blips caused by pandemic demand scares, will continue to trade high on oil as real supply shortages exist both in the short and long-term view.”
Edward Moya, chief marketing strategist for Oanda, told CNBC, “The oil market is so tight that any shock to production is going to send prices soaring. OPEC+ production is on cruise control with their gradual increase strategy, which means oil seems like it’s going to make a run toward $100 oil pretty soon.”