Average gas prices have hit their highest rate in seven years amid rising inflation and supply chain issues as the economy recovers from the COVID - 19 pandemic.
According to AAA's average gas price calculator, the national average cost of a regular gallon of gasoline was $3.297 on Thursday, the highest since September 2014, when the average monthly cost was $3.387.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration reported a national average cost of $3.272 per gallon in September 2021, the highest price since September 2014 when gas cost $3.484 per gallon on average. United States oil benchmark topped WTI crude futures on last week.
The high prices come after OPEC and allied oil producing countries such as Russia decided against boosting oil production and instead stayed the course with their gradual approach to restoring output reduced during the pandemic.
Andy Gross, a AAA spokesperson, highlighted the decision by OPEC to FOX Business in a statement.
The key driver for this recent rise in the price of gas is crude oil, which accounting usually for between 50% and 60% of the price at pump, Gross told FOX Business. And last week's decision by OPEC and its oil-producing allies to not increase production further only exacerbated the upward momentum for crude oil prices, which are now reaching $80 per barrel a day. The increasing oil prices come amid high inflation. Is the price of the U.S. consumer going up by the fastest rate in 13 years in September? The consumer price index rose 5.4% year over year in September, matching the July reading for the strongest jump since 2008. Prices increased month over month by 0.4%. In September, the energy prices climbed 1.3% to reach 24.8% higher than last year's level.
On Thursday, House Republicans slammed President Biden for implementing what they described as anti-American energy policies, including Biden's request to the OPEC and other producers to ramp up production.
Carol Miller, R-W. Va. and more than 100 Republican lawmakers argued that the administration risks emboldening known American adversaries, including Russia and Iran, by asking OPEC to increase production. They claim that the move is part of a pattern of policies that hurt American energy independence, including the cancellation of the Keystone XL oil pipeline and the pause on new oil and gas permits on federal land.
On Wednesday, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki told reporters she was not aware of administration outreach to oil and gas companies to decrease the cost of fuel, outreach reported by Reuters.