Gas prices are at a level not seen since 2014

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(NewsNation Now) — Gas prices are at a level not seen since 2014. The average cost of a regular-grade gallon of gas is up 15 cents from a month ago and $1.32 higher than a year ago, according to GasBuddy data.

High prices at gas pumps are affecting consumers nationwide.

“A lot of this is pandemic-driven,” Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis for GasBuddy, said during an appearance on “Morning in America”. “Global demand for oil continues to surge.”

The average U.S. price of regular-grade gasoline as of Tuesday is $3.42 per gallon.

Nationwide, the highest average price for regular-grade gas is in the San Francisco Bay Area, at $4.66 per gallon. The lowest average is in Oklahoma, at $3.03 per gallon, according to a AAA survey.

To put this into perspective, at the same time in 2019, the national average was $2.69. That’s a 73-cent increase for a gallon of gas.

“This is not just a U.S. issue and that’s quite frankly the problem,” De Haan said. “And a lot of that is due to an energy crunch in China, where record low coal inventories are being seen. And in Europe with the natural gas shortage in both of those areas.”

“Oil is being used as a backstop, China’s buying up all sorts of natural gas, coal and oil,” De Haan said. “So demand continues to go up and global supply is just lagging far behind.”

Industry analyst Trilby Lundberg of the Lundberg Survey said the gas price spike comes as the cost of crude oil and ethanol surges.

According to the survey, the average price of diesel jumped 8 cents to $3.67 a gallon. That price is also $1.30 higher than a year ago.

The Biden administration is looking to use its leverage with OPEC to pump more oil. But the group continues to stick to a more restrained production plan.

When might we see a price drop at the pump?

“So even if the U.S. opens its strategic petroleum reserve, which is one of the things being discussed, it’s like putting a BandAid on a gaping wound,” De Haan said. “It just would not add as much so it would be very temporary and very limited how much long-term relief it would do.”

Gas price saving tips

“People are traveling now. So yeah, people are wondering how they can save at the pump,” lifestyle expert Nekia Nichelle said during an appearance on “Morning in America” while discussing a few mobile phone apps that can help shave money off your gas bill.

You can watch the full interview below for all of her money-saving tips at the gas pump.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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