Another crisis could be looming just under the surface, creating a long, cold and pricey winter. One year ago, the national average price for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline was $2.18; now it is at an eight-year high of $3.27. Some states such as California average $4.44 and certain counties are hitting averages of $4.65.
Helima Croft, managing director and global head of commodity strategy at RBC Capital Markets says “we are facing a looming energy crisis as we head into what could be a cold winter.” With gas prices more than tripling in the last 18 months, experts expect it to continue to go higher.
Fortune writes the average that was $1.09 less for a gallon of unleaded a year ago was “when most people were long past the stay-at-home orders of the pandemic. And it’s a 10-cent increase over a month ago.”
Crude oil prices are also exploding, “recently topping $80 for the first time in eight years” reports Fortune. “An energy crisis in Europe and Asia is driving those increases, but rising demand for gas in the U.S. is playing a role too. Crude oil supplies are also constricted, which is affecting prices as well” adds Fortune.
As a result, the “perfect storm of high demand and low supply is sending fuel prices through the roof. Driving your car is costing a lot more – and heating your home this winter could, too” reports CBS News.
The New York Department of Public Service has warned residents their heating bills could go up 21% from last year. A Chicago-area utility company is expecting bills to be 50% higher this winter.