New Projection Reveals When Gas Prices Will Return to $4 Per Gallon

According to data from GasBuddy shared with CNN, gas prices may reach or exceed $4.00 per gallon as early as May of next year.

According to data from AAA, the national average price for gasoline is currently $3.10 per gallon. While prices did surpass $5.00 per gallon in June, it is not expected that they will reach those levels again. However, there may be a significant increase in gas prices in the coming months.

“2023 is not going to be a cakewalk for motorists. It could be expensive,” GasBuddy Head of Petroleum Analysis Patrick De Haan told CNN. “The national average could breach $4.00 a gallon as early as May, and that’s something that could last through much of the summer driving season.”

Gas prices, which had already been steadily increasing since the start of 2021, saw another hike following the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February. Officials from the White House have attributed the high gas prices to Russian President Vladimir Putin and domestic fossil fuel producers.

“It is also important that the oil and gas and refining industries in this country not use the challenge created by the war in Ukraine as a reason to make things worse for families with excessive profit taking or price hikes,” President Biden said in early 2022.

As gas prices rose at the beginning of the year, consumers stated that they would change their driving habits in an effort to save on gas. A poll from Yahoo found that up to 66% of American drivers would make "significant changes to their driving patterns" if the national average cost of gasoline falls between $4.12 per gallon and $4.35 per gallon.

Despite the fluctuations in gas prices, Americans still traveled at record levels during the Christmas season. Data from AAA showed that nearly 102 million Americans planned to drive to their holiday destinations, an increase of 2 million drivers from the previous year.

“Basically, curveballs coming from every direction,” De Haan said to CNN. “I don’t think we’ve ever seen such an amount of volatility as we saw this year.”

Fuel prices vary significantly across the United States. According to data from AAA, residents of California are currently paying $4.37 per gallon. In an effort to address high fuel prices, Governor Gavin Newsom (D-CA) recently proposed a "price gouging penalty" that would require oil companies to lower their profits to avoid a fine from the California Energy Commission. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) also expressed support earlier this year for legislation that would allow President Biden to declare an "energy emergency," giving him the authority to regulate prices by prohibiting fuel companies from selling their products at "unconscionably excessive" rates.

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