Since the Russia- Ukraine war outbreak, gas prices have skyrocketed around the U.S. The average price nationally was $3.84 in the beginning of March; but within the first week, it went up approximately 27 cents. As gas prices continue to rise, the U.S. may be close to the highest national average cost ever. The majority of the issue has to do with the controversy between Russia and Ukraine. The unprovoked threats and attacks on Ukraine by Russia has thrown off the economical balance globally, while suppliers were already struggling to meet demands due to the pandemic. The U.S. has yet to put sanctions on Russia’s supplies, but previous sanctions are causing a hold on Russia’s oil exports. This crisis is said to cause inflation that will continue to surge in the coming days.
The Biden administration is already being faced with pressure to take action regarding the situation. “Oil prices are decreasing, gas prices should too,” says Biden in his State of the Union address. Prices do go up and down, but it takes long periods of time for that to happen. Biden mentions a two part plan in his State of the Union address. First, he plans to increase oil supply to balance the supply and demand aspect. Next, he plans to release 1 million barrels of oil a day for the next six months from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. This will allow for an enormous supply, in case this problem arises in the future or continues to persist.
How does this issue affect low income individuals and families? It shrinks their budgets, and contributes to the epidemic of impoverished families and homeless. Even if one doesn’t own a car and takes public transportation, the cost of fare still goes up as well. So, while we may pass rising gas prices as just another uncontrollable problem that will eventually be solved for us, there are some who are being forced to completely change their lifestyle in order to fit a smaller budget. Everyone’s inflation rate is different. It really depends on how expensive or inexpensive you shop daily. Regardless, we will all have to pay more on things like housing, groceries, services, airline fares, furniture if inflation keeps rising.
Everyone in the U.S. is likely asking, “Will gas prices ever drop or be low again?” Experts conclude that gas prices will not drop below $4 until at least November. This means that the inflation issue will persist until then, and probably even after. The global economy affects the individual economies. If issues continue between Russia and Ukraine, or issues arise between other countries, inflation happens again, and gas prices typically rise again. If the Biden administration’s plan comes to fruition, and we are able to produce the amount of oil needed to balance supply and demand, we can be looking at reasonable gas prices in the near future.