Gas prices maintained their post-Memorial Day surge Thursday, soaring past new records beyond the holiday peak.
According to the AAA travel agency’s gas tracker, the nationwide average for a gallon of regular unleaded on Thursday was $4.71, a four-cent spike from Wednesday, at $4.67, which was up five cents from an average $4.62 on Tuesday. Diesel prices remained high Thursday at $5.55 per gallon, just two cents from its all-time high set in mid-May at $5.57.
Gas prices had already climbed upward with record-setting prices nearly every day for more than two weeks straight, as of last week. These most recent spikes mark the 17th new record since Biden’s release of oil reserves.
In Japan last week, President Joe Biden celebrated the rising gas prices as “an incredible transition.”
“When it’s over, we’ll be stronger and the world will be stronger and less reliant on fossil fuels,” the president said, days after the administration canceled more oil and gas projects from Alaska to the Gulf of Mexico.
Americans are confronting the high gas prices as they cope with inflation at a four-decade high at the same time. According to the Department of Labor, overall prices are up 8.3 percent from last year. Energy prices are up more than 30 percent with Biden to blame for the economic turbulence now threatening to send us into a recession.
High power prices drive up inflation with increased costs for transportation and manufacturing. Prices for diesel, critical for tankers, trains, trucks, and farming machinery, will hit Americans downstream after drivers suffer sticker shock at the pump. Analysts at JPMorgan Chase estimate Americans could pay an average $6.20 per gallon of regular unleaded by August. Residents in California already eclipsed that number this week, now paying $6.21 per gallon on average. No other state is paying more than $5.50, and residents in Georgia are enjoying the lowest prices at $4.19 per gallon, according to AAA.
To artificially suppress gas prices, President Biden ordered the “unprecedented” release of 1 million barrels of oil per day from the nation’s emergency petroleum reserves for 180 days. The release began on May 15 and will run through November to coincide with the fall midterms. Gas prices, however, reached new daily consecutive records for more than a week immediately following the release, and continue to surge after the traditional spring peak on Memorial Day.
According to the Energy Information Administration, Americans use about 20 million barrels of oil per day.
This article has been corrected since publication.