Gas prices skyrocketed over the weekend. In Miami Springs we were shocked to see $3.79 gas on Saturday morning. But by Saturday afternoon, those prices had jumped to $3.99 per gallon.
One NW 36th Street gas station had regular at $4.19 / gallon. Ouch. (Sorry. We don’t have a picture. My passenger photographer wasn’t able to capture a pic as we drove by.)
Why are Gas Prices Going Up?
The quick answer some will give is the war on Ukraine. Others will say, “Let’s go Brandon.” The reality is it’s much more complicated than that.
Let’s start with basic supply and demand. Part of the reason gas prices are going up is because people are driving again, flying again, and the economy is still seeing an economic rise after the horrible lockdowns. We just need to look at last weekend’s River Cities Festival to see a return to economic activities that weren’t happening over the last couple of years.
So the increase in demand is part of the story, but that’s also not the only thing. The government under Donald Trump AND Joe Biden has printed a lot of money for COVID relief, COVID loans, and COVID checks to citizens. All that money printing has devalued the dollar and created inflation. That’s part of the reason we see the price of EVERYTHING going up. Real estate, grocery, cars, etc. Everything is more expensive.
Add the uncertainty of the war in Ukraine, the potential for a war with NATO, the impact on the global oil markets has caused a huge spike.
Finally, there are some things Joe Biden did that has hurt domestic production. According to CNBC Biden took the following executive actions last year:
- “Biden’s orders direct the secretary of the Interior Department to halt new oil and natural gas leases on public lands and waters, and begin a thorough review of existing permits for fossil fuel development.”
- Cancelled the Keystone XL pipeline permit.
Let’s assume this domestic restriction was done with the the good intentions to protect the environment. What we don’t understand is how does replacing domestic production with foreign production improve climate change? We have to import more fuel from foreign countries? This is more expensive and cause more emissions. This requires ships at sea to transport and further add emissions not necessary with domestic production. This also enriches enemies such as Russia and Iran. We believe increasing domestic production provides greater security to the United States and is more efficient. Furthermore, adding a pipeline makes for the most efficient form of transporting fuel. Transporting fuel via a pipeline is greener for the environment than transporting by ship, truck, or train. It’s not like shutting down a pipeline stops the fuel from moving. It just means it’s being moved another less efficient method that emits more CO2.
I’m all for eventually waning off fossil fuel vehicles as the market produces more electric alternatives. And the market is slowly but surely making gains in this direction. But as you can see with your own eyes, nearly every delivery of every product you buy gets to you or your favorite store via a truck or van that consumes fuel. And the more expensive gas becomes the more expensive everything gets.
Even Elon Musk, the guy who makes Electric Tesla’s thinks we need to increase fuel production: “Hate to say it, but we need to increase oil & gas output immediately.” As he said, “Extraordinary times demand extraordinary measures.”
Hate to say it, but we need to increase oil & gas output immediately.
Extraordinary times demand extraordinary measures.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 5, 2022
In fact, this will also start to hurt budgets for government agencies including the City of Miami Springs, Public Works, and the Police Department as fuel expenses begin to take a bigger share of the budget.
In the meantime, make sure your car is running for optimal efficiency. Aggressive driving and speeding obviously wastes more fuel than driving smoothly or on Cruise Control. Make sure your tires are properly inflated. Under inflated tires reduce your fuel economy. And shop around for the cheapest gas. We paid $3.79 / gallon at BJ’s this morning. Not great, but when you’re filling a 35 gallon tank, that’s an extra $7 in savings.