By Terrance Turner
March 24, 2022
Rapper and actor Ice-T tweeted earlier this morning that he had been robbed at a New Jersey gas station. When he called the police, they asked him to identify the culprit:
Ice-T’s experience at the pump is sadly, growing more common. According to Money.com, “The average price of regular gas around the country climbed from $3.53 per gallon on February 21 to $4.32 on March 14. That’s a 22% jump, according to data released by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), representing the fastest rate for rising gas prices over a three-week span since the agency began tracking this data in 1990.
The EIA attributed most of the sudden growth in retail gas prices to rising crude oil prices in the aftermath of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine at the end of February. Prices have since fallen slightly and were averaging $4.24 per gallon on March 21, according to the EIA.” But the p[ain at the pump continues to be a headache for many consumers — especially those in California, as evidenced by this note from Money:
“On Tuesday, the price of a gallon of gas averaged more than $6 in Los Angeles — a first for any major U.S. city. That’s not to mention the fact that prices tend to rise in the summer anyway, thanks to peak vacation season and the annual switch to a blend of gasoline that is better suited to warmer weather but more expensive to produce.”
According to CNBC, “California drivers have been hardest hit, paying an average $5.88 per gallon of unleaded statewide, in part because of higher taxes and the unique blend of West Coast fuels. According to AAA, drivers in Los Angeles county are paying an average $6.03 per gallon. Nevada prices are averaging $5.17 per gallon, while Washington state’s average is $4.72 per gallon.”
“The national average for unleaded gasoline Thursday was $4.23 per gallon, down five cents from a week earlier and 10 cents below the recent all-time high, according to AAA. But analysts expect prices at the pump to start rising even more, with the jump this week in oil prices and the rising price of gasoline in the futures market.”
“I think $5 could easily be achieved here if the situation continues to worsen,” said John Kilduff, a partner with Again Capital. “In California, I’ve seen $7 at some stations.”
A Chicago Fox affiliate reports that some members of Congress are proposing a solution. House Reps. Mike Thompson (D-California), John Larson (D-Connecticut) and Lauren Underwood (D-Illinois) have gotten involved. The congressional lawmakers propose the Gas Rebate Act of 2022 where Americans would get an energy rebate of $100 per month (and $100 for each dependent) for the rest of 2022 in any month where the national average gas prices exceed $4.00 per gallon.
According to the New York Post, “The Gas Rebate Act of 2022 would also offer the same monthly rebate for each dependent. The bill would work similarly to the stimulus checks that were sent to Americans during the early stages of the coronavirus pandemic.
Single people earning less than $75,000 annually would receive the full $100 rebate, while checks for those earning up to $80,000 would be phased out. Joint filers who earn less than $150,000 would qualify for the rebate, which would be phased out at up to $160,000.”