Gas prices are rising at near-record levels. There’s no easy fix.

Gas prices are reaching record highs, and analysts aren’t sure how to fix it.

Here’s a sentence that could have been written basically anytime since 1999: Gas prices are really high.

But this year it’s different. Like way too many things in 2021, it’s worse.

Per The Wall Street Journal, gas prices are up 50% YoY, the largest percentage jump in 10+ years.

Commiserate like it’s ‘08

Nationally, the average price for a gallon of regular is up to $3.39 from $2.27 a year ago. The record is $4, set in summer 2008.

Prices vary by state depending on local taxes, regulations, and energy infrastructure. Two stark examples:

  • California, where the average price per gallon is $4.70
  • Texas, where the average price per gallon is $2.98

When added to rising costs of groceries and other consumer staples, the jump is taking a toll on drivers (as well as on gas station owners) and putting pressure on producers to boost supply.

But it’s not that simple

While tapping into reserves could help lower prices, American producers have been slow to ramp production due to pressure from investors to limit environmental harm, creating a lose-lose situation:

  • Boost production and risk criticism for environmental damage
  • Hold firm and catch flak for rising prices

On the bright side, analysts believe electric vehicles will be cheaper to make than gas vehicles as early as 2027, which could make the concept of gas prices (and endless complaints about them) a thing of the past.

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