The nationwide average for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline reached $4.91 on Tuesday, according to AAA’s gas price tracker, marking another week straight of new records every day since the traditional spring peak on Memorial Day. Prices for diesel also hit a new record Tuesday at $5.68 per gallon.
As of Monday, soaring gas prices had more than doubled what they were the month President Joe Biden took office in January 2021.
“[When] it comes to the gas prices,” Biden said in Japan last month as prices were climbing daily, “we’re going through an incredible transition that is taking place.”
“God willing,” the president added, “when it’s over, we’ll be stronger and the world will be stronger and less reliant on fossil fuels.”
Analysts at JPMorgan Chase predict a nationwide average of $6.20 per gallon of regular unleaded by August. California residents began to suffer even steeper prices last week and are now paying an average of $6.37.
While Americans face sticker shock at the pump, data from the Department of Labor show consumer pocketbooks are being squeezed by inflation, which has spiked 8.3 percent since the same time last year, marking the fastest increase in four decades. Overall energy prices are up 30 percent from last year. According to Gallup, American confidence in the nation’s economy is at its lowest point since 2009.
Despite the economic turmoil, Biden has only doubled down on the same energy agenda that’s increased power prices in the first place. After shutting down more oil and gas projects in Alaska and the Gulf of Mexico earlier this year, the president invoked the Defense Production Act on Monday and waived select tariffs to accelerate the production of solar power.
The intermittent nature of solar energy threatens to bring more instability to the power grid, which the North American Electric Reliability Corporation has already predicted will face rolling blackouts amid dry summer heat waves.