It might be “quite some time” before drivers in the United States see relatively stable gas prices, according to Gasbuddy Head of Petroleum Analysis Patrick de Hann.
In an interview aired on the Fox Business show of “Cavuto: Coast to Coast” on Monday, de Hann said that there are several factors that could prolong the elevated gas prices even after the summer season.
“Traditionally we see gas prices start declining in mid-to-late August as we start to see things [going] back to normal, kids going back to school, vacations basically ending,” de Hann said. “This year, though, I think the concern is that . . . the normal seasonal down-turning could be mitigated by the fact that offices are starting to see returns by fall and so commutes could start to increase.”
He added, “That really brings to question, will we see a seasonal decline in autumn, and when will it be?”
While a decline may occur, de Hann noted that it could be disrupted by a surge in travel as people who have previously worked from home during the coronavirus pandemic return back to work.
The average gas price in the United States as of Tuesday reached $3.109, according to the Automobile Association of America, compared to $2.179 per gallon during the same time last year. It’s also a 0.065 cent increase from the same time last month.
“Instead of seeing prices maybe back down to the mid- or upper twos, it may be a push to drop under $3 a gallon,” de Hann said, noting that prices may not drop below $3 per gallon until October. “Keep in mind, too, with the prime of hurricane season now around the corner, there's so many potential disruptions that could take gas prices even higher.”
Fuel prices first surpassed $3 per gallon last month following the Colonial Pipeline hack that shut off the Southeast’s major gasoline pipeline after remaining below that amount for roughly seven years. The pipeline’s shutdown triggered a panic-buying surge that emptied gas stations across the region, prompting the price of gas to spike.
When asked whether the “go green” push by the Biden administration is impacting the elevated gas prices, de Hann replied that it’s “a little bit too soon” to tell. He added, “Down the road, absolutely, the Biden administration's push to go green will probably have more of an impact.”
Rachel Bucchino is a reporter at the National Interest. Her work has appeared in The Washington Post, U.S. News & World Report and The Hill.