Looks like gas prices won’t be going down anytime soon during the summer travel season. The average gas price has continued to rise since the calming of COVID and the beginning of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Prices rose $0.17 per gallon last week, with Michigan leading the pack with a big $0.407 jump at the pumps.
The only state with a decrease was New York, with their cap on gas taxes kicking in to lower the price to $3.80 per gallon. @GasBuddyGuy Patrick De Haan has placed the nasty bet that the national average for gas prices will hit the dreaded $5.00 per gallon on June 17.
So what causes prices to jump? For over 20 years, my dad worked for a fuel delivery company hauling to farms and businesses in South Georgia. I learned a lot about how rumors and panic can give sellers a reason to raise their prices at the pump.
Remember, some gas stations are franchises; they can set their own prices to sell the fuel they buy from the terminals. And nothing makes prices pop like a possible refinery shortage.
Issues in Las Vegas
Looks like Las Vegas might have a reason to raise prices further if the threat of the fuel delivery drivers boycotting one of the local refineries goes through. Street racers and stunt drivers have been going out to the UNEV refinery in Apex, Nevada and have made a little bit of a scene a big mess. The area is about 15 minutes away from town, plenty of time for anyone with a police scanner to make a getaway.
Video: Jeremy Chen, 13ActionNews of Las Vegas
The racers have been cutting donuts and doing burnouts, most likely for self-promotion on TikTok. The delivery drivers do not care for the racers, who flash lasers in drivers’ faces and block the road, refusing to move. Even when they do move, the debris field left after the fact can cause damage to truck tires. Rocks, broken car parts and rubber chunks litter the intersection. You can even see the skid marks if you zoom in on Google Maps.
“Why here? They’ve got the wide-open spot. They’re out in the middle of the desert. No police. They’re doing around 50 miles an hour out here just drifting and if they blow a tire, they’re going to run into the crowd and kill people. We don’t want to hit anybody. We just want to do our job.”Jim Delliplaine, Tanker Driver
Las Vegas has already been a center for fuel availability issues. Back in November 2021, multiple TA and Petro truck stops in Arizona had to ration or ran out of fuel when the Las Vegas refineries ran low on product. Now with domestic crude production cut back, the pressure of low supply keeps pushing the prices higher. OPEC+ recently promised a 50% increase in production, but there’s already speculation that they might not be able to cover that.