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Now brace for $4 gas: Spring travel, refinery maintenance, Bidenflation give drivers ‘real pain’


Drivers in the United States have been warned to expect ‘real pain’ at the pump as a surge in spring travel combines with rising inflation to push gas prices for regular unleaded to above $4 a gallon.

The nationwide average is currently $3.314 a gallon, according to the American Automobile Association. California has the highest-priced gas at $4.650, while Texas has the lowest at $2.942. In New York state, it is currently $3.39.

On Tuesday, Patrick De Haan, the head of petroleum at GasBuddy, said all Americans may soon be facing California-level costs.

“We’ll start to see gasoline demand surge, along with refiners doing maintenance ahead of the summer driving season, creating a squeeze,” De Haan told Fox Business, predicting that the spike would begin in March.

De Haan projected that there may be an increase of 10 to 20 cents per gallon every month until May, when the national average could hit or even surpass $4 a gallon.

Earlier this month, GasBuddy projected that the national average price for a gallon of gasoline could even climb to a high of $4.13 in June.

And California cities could see prices climb even higher, with costs in San Francisco and Sacramento rising to over $5 a gallon.

Damian Maculam, 29, watches the total increase as drivers select from various fuels all priced over $6 dollars at a Chevron Gas Station in downtown Los Angeles on November 15

Gas prices at a gas station in Washington, DC, on January 12 - the day that the consumer price index was shown to be at its highest in almost 40 years

Gas prices at a gas station in Washington, DC, on January 12 – the day that the consumer price index was shown to be at its highest in almost 40 years

Gas prices in southern California are already above $5 a gallon, according to this January 14 photo. On Tuesday a leading fuel expert said that prices would likely rise nationwide

Gas prices in southern California are already above $5 a gallon, according to this January 14 photo. On Tuesday a leading fuel expert said that prices would likely rise nationwide

Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum at Gas Buddy, said Americans should brace themselves for increasing prices

Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum at Gas Buddy, said Americans should brace themselves for increasing prices

He said prices would likely fall after a ‘hot start to the summer’, with costs dropping to just under $3 per gallon by the 2022 holiday season. 

The news comes as inflation is at the highest level in almost 40 years. 

The Labor Department said on January 12 that the consumer price index has risen 7 percent over the last year.

The index rose 0.5 percent last month, after surging 0.8 percent in November. 

President Joe Biden, buffeted by criticism of his handling of the economy, tried to highlight that slowing rate of growth as an achievement. 

The increase pushed annual inflation to 7 percent in December, which is the highest level since June 1982, and up from November’s 6.8 percent annual rate. 

In a statement, Biden called inflation ‘a global challenge’ and claimed the latest numbers were good news, showing the monthly rate of price increases slowed in December from the prior month. 

President Joe Biden is seen on Sunday volunteering at a hunger relief organization in Philadelphia

President Joe Biden is seen on Sunday volunteering at a hunger relief organization in Philadelphia

Annual inflation hit 7% in December, the highest 12-month increase since June 1982

Annual inflation hit 7% in December, the highest 12-month increase since June 1982

‘Today’s report—which shows a meaningful reduction in headline inflation over last month, with gas prices and food prices falling—demonstrates that we are making progress in slowing the rate of price increases,’ said Biden. 

Nationwide, gas prices did drop 2.2 percent in December from the prior month, but remained 50 percent higher than a year ago. 

Food prices were up 0.5 percent on the month and 6.3 percent higher than a year ago, making it unclear what falling food prices Biden was referring to. 

‘At the same time, this report underscores that we still have more work to do, with price increases still too high and squeezing family budgets,’ Biden admitted. 

A labor shortage is boosting wages, sending costs higher for businesses, and chaos in the supply chain is showing little sign of easing as Omicron sidelines workers by the millions, suggesting that high inflation could persist well into 2022. 

When compared to other presidents after their first years, Biden scores lower than nearly all of his predecessors up through Ronald Reagan. 

Only Donald Trump’s 37 percent approval rating after his first year is lower. 



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