Bad News: Gas Prices Are Going Up, Again

Gas Prices
May 17, 2021 Topic: Gas Prices Blog Brand: Politics Tags: GasGas PricesGasolineColonial PipelineJoe Biden

Bad News: Gas Prices Are Going Up, Again

The average gas price has risen to $3.03 per gallon as of Monday, the fourth consecutive week of rising prices.


Last week, GasBuddy’s weekly report about national gas prices found that the average price for regular gas in the United States had exceeded $3 for the first time since 2014. This was mostly attributed, the site said, to rising demand for gasoline, as weather gets warmer and life begins to get closer to normal due to the pandemic.

“While many Americans are pointing fingers, they should be pointing at the same factor GasBuddy mentioned months ago: COVID-19 related recovery is pushing things back to normal and leading to rising gasoline demand,” the site said last week.


Now, thanks to the Colonial Pipeline shutdown, the average price has risen even higher.

The average gas price has risen to $3.03 per gallon as of Monday, the fourth consecutive week of rising prices. GasBuddy attributed this gain to the Colonial Pipeline incident, in which a group of what are believed to be Russian ransomware hackers were able to knock the important pipeline out. This led to shortages, closed gas stations, and price spikes, especially in the Southeast. Gas prices are more than a dollar higher than they were this time last year, when prices were unusually low in the opening weeks of the pandemic.

AAA, earlier on Monday, listed the national average gas price at $3.045 a gallon, up from $2.967 the week before.

“The national average gas price surged last week thanks to big price jumps in Southeastern states due to the previously shut down Colonial Pipeline, but most areas outside that region saw smaller fluctuations,” Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis for GasBuddy, said in the blog post.

“With the pipeline now back in service, I expect prices to come down in the hardest hit states, specifically the Carolinas, Georgia, Tennessee, Florida and Virginia. The drops should lead the national average to soon fall back under the $3 per gallon mark, but motorists shouldn’t get too excited — prices may start to head higher in a few weeks should Memorial Day gasoline demand be red hot. In addition, motorists in the affected areas should see outage numbers continue to decline this week, especially early in the week when gasoline demand tends to be lowest. I’m optimistic that there will be enough recovery by Memorial Day for motorists in these states to fill up without having to search for gasoline.”

GasBuddy, due to the rising prices and the pipeline incident, moved to the top of the App Store charts last week. However, by Monday it had dropped back down to #17, with TikTok, YouTube, Instagram, Facebook and Google Maps taking up the top five on the Free Apps chart.

Stephen Silver, a technology writer for The National Interest, is a journalist, essayist and film critic, who is also a contributor to The Philadelphia Inquirer, Philly Voice, Philadelphia Weekly, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Living Life Fearless, Backstage magazine, Broad Street Review and Splice Today. The co-founder of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle, Stephen lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife and two sons. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenSilver.