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Gas Prices are Expected to Keep Shooting Up

Gas prices a year ago averaged $2.18 per gallon in the U.S., according to AAA, as the pandemic’s grip tightened and we all were driving much less. But now gas prices are back up to $3.13 per gallon on average in the U.S., and AAA says that number is likely to go up in August by as much as 20 cents.

“Robust gasoline demand and more expensive crude oil prices are pushing gas prices higher,” said Jeanette McGee, a AAA spokesperson, said in a statement.

“We had hoped that global crude production increases would bring some relief at the pump this month, but weekend OPEC negotiations fell through with no agreement reached. As a result, crude prices are set to surge to a seven year-high.”

You know, it’s a good thing that we all learned a lot from the last time gas was so expensive and we all bought small fuel-efficient vehicles as a result and big trucks and SUVs aren’t the biggest sellers in America [gets tapped on the shoulder] oh, shit, I’m being told that’s not the case at all. Interesting!

If and when the price of gas continues to rise, you can expect

(1) everyone to blame Joe Biden, even though he won’t have much to do with it

(2) a swift retreat from big trucks and SUVs by consumers, because paying a lot for gas sucks

(3) an even swifter move by automakers into fuel-efficient cars, probably Everything Is Hybrid Now if I had to guess, it should be Everything Is Electric Now but we don’t live in a good world and

(4) a big tedious National Discussion about What The Price Of Gas Means For Our Nation’s Future.

That is, at least, what happened back in 2008, and questions about climate are even more urgent now than they were back then. As someone who is on the record that we should raise the gas tax, I’m not not looking forward to this; I’m also not looking forward to it, because the gas tax is one of those issues that tends to drive people completely insane.

California, for example, has the highest gas taxes in the U.S. — the price there is currently averaging $4.30 per gallon, according to AAA — but California also has the strongest and most interesting car culture of anywhere in the world, so it’d be hard to make a persuasive argument that the two are related in any way. Keep calm and carry on.