Gasoline prices in Washington are on fire... and the stations are empty - Energy

The administration of US President Joe Biden is facing sharp criticism since the start of rising gasoline prices at most stations across the country.

With prices on the rise, gas stations in Washington state have readjusted their price plates to fit potential double-digit pricing.

The current developments may lead to a rise in gasoline prices to more than $10 per gallon.

This move comes at a time when the stations in Washington state have run out of fuel, and some states – such as California – have seen a price hike of up to $5.98 this week.

Gasoline prices in America

Since March, the price boards have been in single digits, but there have been several changes at the stations since the gasoline price hike.

Gasoline prices
Pumps inside a gas station – Photo from Newsweek

Gas station 76 in Auburn, about 30 miles south of Seattle, is preparing for a possible price hike by resetting the panels, to include prices of at least $10 a gallon, the New York Post reported.

In addition to the possibility of higher fuel prices, Washington residents suffer from fuel shortages at stations.

Several stations in Kennewick, Pasco and West Richland hung signs saying they had run out of fuel, except for diesel.

Local residents took to the social networking site “Facebook” to report that more than 10 stations had run out of fuel.

According to the American Automobile Association, the average price for a gallon of gasoline in Washington state is $5.18, exceeding that nationwide average of $4.59, and nearly double the average of 2.41 during the last month of President Donald Trump’s presidency.

In the meantime, some states are witnessing a record rise in gasoline prices, led by California, as prices exceeded 6 dollars.

The sharp jump is partly due to higher oil prices, which make up more than half of the total price of gasoline.

Diesel prices are also on the rise, average prices reached a record high of $5,573 per gallon on Tuesday 17 May.

worsening situation

At the same time, analysts warn that a worsening supply shortage due to Russia’s war on Ukraine, and expectations of higher demand with increased road travel during the summer, could lead to an upward trend in prices.

Since the outbreak of the Russian war on Ukraine, crude oil prices have shot up, with US crude at $112.31 a barrel, while Brent crude is trading at $112.89 a barrel, according to the US Energy Information Administration.

The American Automobile Association revealed that prices in the states of Georgia, Kansas and Oklahoma were less than $4 a gallon, but they crossed that barrier last Tuesday, May 15.

In light of the crisis situation, the oil and gas industry has criticized the Biden administration’s policy, and sees it as the reason for the lack of supplies.

Gasoline prices
Pumps inside a gas station in Virginia – Photo courtesy of the Daily Mail

“Unfortunately, the situation has become a common pattern,” said Frank Macchiarola, senior vice president of the American Petroleum Institute. “The Biden administration is talking about the need to increase supplies, and is taking measures to constrain it.”

Gasoline prices are -currently – the worst in US history, and set a previous record in 2008 when prices reached 4.11 per gallon.

Biden’s policy

Since US President Joe Biden took office, he has initiated policies that have contributed significantly to raising gasoline prices above $4 in all states.

Biden began canceling the Keystone XL pipeline, a decision that shocked the Americans before Canada, the largest trading partner of the United States, especially since the pipeline was capable of transporting nearly one million barrels of Canadian oil per day.

In addition to shutting down several existing pipelines, such as Canada’s Enbridge Line 5 pipeline, with a capacity of up to 500,000 barrels per day.

The pressure on US oil refineries due to fluctuations in the markets is one of the main reasons for the price hike.

The administration has tried to revoke permits to explore for oil and gas, as well as impose new regulations on hydrofracking for their production.

Last week, the Biden administration canceled the sale of three oil and gas leases in the Gulf of Mexico and off the coast of Alaska.

The Department of the Interior attributed this to the industry’s lack of interest in drilling off the coast of Alaska, and conflicting court rulings that hampered drilling efforts in the Gulf of Mexico.

President Biden temporarily halted drilling auctions shortly after taking office until Department of the Interior officials can determine their environmental impact.

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