LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — The average price for a gallon of diesel fuel has hit another record in the United States.
At $5.70 cents per gallon, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, there seems to be no ceiling for how high diesel prices might rise.
California has the highest diesel prices per gallon at just under $7.
Fuel prices have been soaring around the world amid declining investments in fossil fuel projects. Prices have accelerated since sanctions were imposed this year against energy exporter Russia following its invasion of Ukraine.
“I used to be able to fill up my truck for about $600 earlier this year. But now it’s about $1,300,” truck driver Teddy Freeman of Denver said.. “I am not driving anymore than I was, either. Fuel prices are just too damn high.”
Stewart Robinson is an owner-operator based out of Kentucky. He has a wife, three kids and takes care of his elderly mother’s finances. He said he is taking more loads to help make bill payments, so he hasn’t been home in a few weeks.
“I can’t keep going this way,” Robinson said matter of factly. “There are loads out there, let’s say from Washington State to Miami, that are only offering $2,500 for the driver.”
The Colorado Motor Carrier Association said the impact is having a ripple effect on consumers now, too.
“In every product that you have, you know, at some point they’ve got to recover their costs, our businesses have to recover their costs,” CMCA President Greg Fulton said.
Fulton said with more people traveling this summer, he predicts demand will continue to rise prices for the season.
“Then it hopefully will come down and we’ll get some relief on that side of it,” Fulton said.
U.S. crude prices are now up 54% since the beginning of the year, and international crude prices are up almost 40% in that time, the Associated Press (AP) reports. The OPEC oil cartel and allied producing countries including Russia announced recently that they will raise production by 648,000 barrels per day in July and August.
POLITICIZING FUEL PRICES
A chart of U.S. gas prices since 2010 shows that prices under former President Barack Obama were higher than prices under the Trump administration, before rising dramatically again when President Joe Biden took office.
But, according to the AP, context is missing.
The chart mislabels former President Donald Trump’s tenure, suggesting he was in office in 2015 during a period when gas prices dropped. Obama was in office at that time. Trump was not sworn in until 2017.
With gas prices surging to record highs in 2022, some on social media in recent days are sharing a misleading graph to compare prices at the pump under recent presidents, according to the AP.
The line graph shows the fluctuation of gas prices from 2010 to 2022. In crude handwriting, the chart roughly labels the highest price points from 2010-2015 as “Obama,” then the lowest price points from 2015-2021 with “Trump.” The last section, which starts at 2020 and shows a dramatic spike in 2021, is labeled “Biden.”
“So clear, even a child could understand,” reads the top of the chart. One Facebook post of the chart was shared more than 1,000 times and had over 200,000 views.
The prices in the graph are accurate. The original chart, without the presidential labels, comes from the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
But the labels suggesting which president was in office at the time of fluctuations were added later and are misleading. The chart implies that Trump was sitting in the Oval Office when average U.S. fuel prices went as low as $2 a gallon in January 2015 and $1.72 in 2016. In fact, Obama was in office at that time, with his tenure spanning from 2009 until Jan. 20, 2017. During that time, gas prices peaked in May 2011 at $3.97 per gallon.
By the week of Trump’s inauguration, the average fuel price was around $2.32, according to data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration. The highest price during his administration was $2.96 in May 2018, and its lowest was around $1.77 in April 2020, when much of the country was locked down due to the COVID-19 pandemic. When Trump left office on Jan. 20, 2021, the average price was around $2.39 a gallon.
Prices have indeed surged since the beginning of the Biden administration, with the national average currently at $4.82, according to AAA. While critics have blamed the president, experts have pointed to several other reasons for the spike, including higher demand after the easing of pandemic restrictions and the steep price of oil as many buyers refuse to purchase Russian oil due to its invasion of Ukraine.
Joshua Busby, an associate professor of public affairs at the University of Texas at Austin, wrote in an email to the AP that beyond releasing oil from the nation’s Strategic Petroleum Reserve, U.S. presidents have “limited leverage over gas prices.”
“Prices are set by the market,” Busby wrote. “If there is a major increase in demand (demand resurgence as worst of pandemic ends) or supply disruption (Ukraine conflict fallout), it’s not clear any US President would have many levers to alter that situation in the short run.”
The Trucker News Staff produces engaging content for not only TheTrucker.com, but also The Trucker Newspaper, which has been serving the trucking industry for more than 30 years. With a focus on drivers, the Trucker News Staff aims to provide relevant, objective content pertaining to the trucking segment of the transportation industry. The Trucker News Staff is based in Little Rock, Arkansas.
I’ve Been Driving For Over 40+ Yrs With “ZERO ACCIDENTS” & TOTAL ED 7.5 Million Miles Including “Safety/Courtesy Awards”! D.H.Der Kazarian-PhD MS @ 0329EDT.Early Friday-10th June ’22!
Let’s go Brandon
How can you put any trust in what the news media says? They are politcal puppets for the current adminastration. When a Republican wins the y do an about face and suddenly the Republicans are treated kindly. That’s a pile of bullshit. I don’t trust the news media at all.
Why doesn’t that lying SOB of a president release some the reserve oil? Because he is a crook and stupid and a dumbass. Take a good look at his stupid son that commited a felony and got away with it.
Just like trump and all his crimes, The biggest in American history. Always getting away with his crimes. FTD!!!