(NewsNation) — For months, rising gas prices have taken a toll on the wallets of Americans, who have been clamoring for the federal government to do something to cut down the high prices.
The Biden administration vowed to tackle the issue and recently appears to have secured at least a temporary win on the matter as gas prices have begun to trickle downward.
In mid-June, gas prices hit a national average of $5 per gallon but have since fallen to $4.63 nationwide as of this week. Crude oil prices fell 7% this week to below $100 a barrel; that figure was as high as $120 a barrel after Russia invaded Ukraine.
Gas prices have been steadily falling from their eye-popping mid-June highs for 30 days straight, and could continue to fall throughout the summer if current supply and demand trends stay the same.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration projects gas prices will end up averaging $4.05 per gallon in 2022, and will fall to $3.57 per gallon in 2023. Both those figures are still starkly higher than the $2.78 per gallon gas averaged in 2021.
Consumer cutbacks due to fears of a recession could also be playing a factor in falling gas prices, as the nation continues to watch inflation surge, hitting 9.1% in June.
A cut in demand for gas could lead to further dips in prices, especially if refineries continue to recover their pre-pandemic output, but there are no clear indicators yet that demand for gas will fall, according to reporting in The Houston Chronicle.
“Beyond the next few weeks the future is clear as mud as they say,” Gasbuddy analyst Patrick De Haan told the Chronicle.
The Biden administration has continued to press blame for high gas prices on the war in Ukraine and oil companies, often calling the rise in gas prices a “Putin price hike.”
“Gas and food prices continue to be heavily impacted by the war in Ukraine. And there are a few important points to keep in mind when we get this backward-looking data,” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said this week. “First, June CPI data is already out of date, because energy prices have come down substantially this month, and are expected to fall further.”
Republicans however are blaming Biden and Democrats for the surge in gas prices.
Sen. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., told Fox News, it was Biden’s “unfriendly and uncaring” attitude toward oil companies that has helped spur the gas price hike.
Blackburn has received $362,570 in political donations from oil and gas companies.
The overall economy and stock market continued to suffer Thursday, furthering fears a recession is on the horizon. Jamie Dimon, the CEO of JPMorgan Chase, doubled down on his warning from earlier this year that a “hurricane” may be coming for the economy.
“I haven’t changed my view at all,” he said in a conference call with journalists. “The negatives I pointed out, the risks in the future, are still the same risks. They’re nearer than they were before.”
More major increases in interest rates by the Federal Reserve are also expected to come soon, instilling fear among economists.
Christopher Waller, a member of the Federal Reserve’s Board of Governors, said Thursday that he would be open to supporting a huge 1 percentage point increase in the Fed’s key short-term interest rate later this month if upcoming economic data points to robust consumer spending.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.