Prices at the gas pump are rising yet again as refiners turn to producing
jet fuel and diesel instead of gasoline, and as demand jumps ahead of the summer driving season.
Prices across the country were already high before the most recent jumps. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine hit oil markets and global gas prices hard, driving up the price at the pump as governments turned away energy supplies from Moscow. But prices are now going higher, and averaged $4.48 per gallon on Monday.
That’s up about 40 cents from a month ago, when prices stood at $4.08. Much of the most recent jump has come just in the past few days as prices rose 16 cents per gallon between May 9 and May 16.
Much as high gas prices colored the elections of 2008, when GOP vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin railed on Democratic energy policies, today’s prices are roiling this year’s political debate. Republicans are faulting President Biden’s policies, while Democrats are targeting companies for alleged price gouging.
Experts say the latest jump is linked to a variety of factors
including fewer oil refiners making crude oil into gasoline. Prices of both diesel and jet fuel, which are also made at refineries, are spiking, and experts say many refiners are turning toward making those more profitable products.