Temperatures may be falling, but gas prices are rising.
If you've noticed gas prices creeping upwards, it's not just you. AAA Mid-Atlantic has been reporting an increase in gas prices—in the Richmond, Virginia, area, up 12 cents from last month, and 10 cents up from last week. And as a result of the devastating cold across the U.S., particularly in Texas, app GasBuddy expects prices to keep rising. In a press release, the travel and navigation app predicted, "The national average price of gasoline may jump 10-20 cents per gallon from its current price of $2.54 per gallon over the next two weeks as ... at least a dozen refineries have been impacted throughout the southern U.S., with no less than 3.48 million barrels of refining capacity lost every 24 hours."
As a result, the national average could "rise to $2.65-$2.75 per gallon, resulting in the highest prices since 2019 and the highest seasonal prices in over five years.
Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy, said, "Oil prices have continued to rally as global oil demand recovers from the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic, and now the extreme cold weather shutting refineries down, us motorists just can’t seem to catch a break. We probably won’t see much, if any relief, anytime soon. Even after this event is over, it may take refineries days or even a week or two to fully return to service, and with gasoline demand likely to accelerate as we approach March and April, the price increases may not quickly fade."
Especially as oil refineries begin the switch to "EPA-mandated cleaner summer fuels," GasBuddy warns that "the national average could rise closer to $3 per gallon closer to Memorial Day weekend." In this market, of course, nothing is certain—but it's best to be prepared. Fuel up while you can, and consider alternative methods of transportation for any trips you may need to make in the next few weeks.
What are your best tips for dealing with high gas prices? Let us know in the comments.