Gas prices for diesel and regular unleaded reached new records on Tuesday as they continue an upward trajectory before Memorial Day, hitting unseen highs near daily.
According to AAA’s gas price tracker, the average cost for a gallon of regular is running at $4.52 nationwide, and diesel at $5.57. Gas prices are highest in California, where residents are now paying an average of more than $6 per gallon statewide. Kansas residents are seeing the cheapest gas at $4 per gallon.
The record-breaking prices will soon cause ripple effects across the economy, with spikes in transportation and manufacturing costs being passed onto consumers who are already battling record inflation. According to the Department of Labor, April’s inflation numbers revealed the highest year-over-year increase in four decades, rising 8.3 percent last month compared to the same time last year.
Despite the rising prices upending the nation’s pandemic recovery, President Joe Biden has only doubled down on his anti-American-energy agenda with cancellations of new oil and gas leases to keep domestic production low. Data from the Department of Commerce published in April revealed that the U.S. economy experienced negative GDP growth in the first quarter, potentially marking the first stages of a recession after GDP remained positive since mid-2020.
Last week, CBS News revealed that the Biden administration quietly canceled more drilling projects across the country, from Alaska to the Gulf of Mexico, even as gas prices rose to new heights. While the Department of the Interior announced it would resume lease sales to drill on public lands this year, the White House is dragging its feet while the agency offered only 20 percent of the lands initially nominated for production. The Interior Department also announced a 50 percent spike in royalty fees from what’s extracted, a rise in costs that’s ultimately paid for by consumers at the pump.
The White House resumed oil and gas leases on public lands only after a federal judge ordered the government to do so, invalidating Biden’s indefinite suspension that he signed on his first day in office.
“President Biden remains absolutely committed to not moving forward with additional drilling on public lands,” White House climate adviser Gina McCarthy pledged on MSNBC shortly after Interior announced new leases.
Biden has looked to the nation’s emergency strategic petroleum reserves to artificially suppress gas prices ahead of the November midterms, as antagonized voters are poised to hand Democrats a major blow in an election cycle that’s historically hostile to the president’s party. Last month, Biden announced an “unprecedented” release from the oil reserves of 1 million barrels per day into the market.
Despite the release beginning on Sunday, gas prices have reached new peaks each day.