Energy

Have Gas Prices Peaked? Experts Say $3-A-Gallon National Avg. Is Unlikely In 2018

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Michael Bastasch Contributor
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Americans might have seen the worst in terms of high gasoline prices in 2018, according to Department of Energy analysts who expect prices at the pump will continue to fall through the end of the year.

The national average gas price fell from a high of $2.96 per gallon on May 28 to $2.89 per gallon in June, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA).

EIA expects “gasoline prices will remain lower than the May 28 price for the rest of the summer, reaching $2.84/gal in September.”

U.S. regular grade retail gasoline price, as explained in the article text

SOURCE: U.S. Energy Information Administration

Gas prices typically peak in summer months when Americans hit the road on vacations and when government regulations force the use of summer-grade fuel that’s more expensive to refine. (RELATED: Volcanic Heat Found Under Antarctica’s Fastest-Melting Glacier)

The national average price for regular gasoline stands at about $2.85 per gallon, according to the American Automobile Association. That’s about 3 cents per gallon lower than one week ago, but still around 60 cents higher than the same time in 2017.

Gas prices began rising in early 2018 due to a combination of factors, including production cuts among Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) members and Russia, civil unrest in Venezuela, increased energy demand and new sanctions on Iran.

Democratic lawmakers tried to pin high gasoline prices on President Donald Trump’s foreign policy decisions, but experts told The Daily Caller News Foundation fact-checkers the White House played a small or even “negligible” role in higher oil prices.

Ironically, Democrats blaming Trump for high gas prices also support cap-and-trade, carbon taxes, less domestic drilling and other policies that lead to higher energy prices.

Oil prices hit their highest levels in four years on Wednesday on news that crude inventories saw their largest drop so far in 2017.

EIA projects “gasoline prices to decline to $2.68/gal by December” absent a major supply disruption, like the refinery outages caused by Hurricane Harvey in 2017. There’s only a 7-percent chance gas prices exceed May’s high based on futures contracts, according to EIA.

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