Biden authorizes release of 50 million barrels of oil from US reserve, hoping to combat spike in gas prices

Gas station prices
A sign showing gas prices around $5 a gallon at a station in San Diego, California, in early November 2021.

  • Gas prices are at a record high in the US, with demand outstripping supply.
  • Biden authorized the release of 50M barrels of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve in a bid to lower prices.
  • The move is part of a coordinated oil release between the US, UK, Japan, India, China, and South Korea.

The Biden administration is tapping its underground oil stockpile to fight soaring gas prices. It still might not be enough to help you at the pump.

President Joe Biden on Tuesday authorized the release of 50 million barrels of oil from the US Strategic Petroleum Reserve in a bid to combat spiking gas prices.

“Today, the President is announcing that the Department of Energy will make available releases of 50 million barrels of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to lower prices for Americans and address the mismatch between demand exiting the pandemic and supply,” the White House said in a Tuesday statement.

The reserve — a network of underground oil storage — represents one of the few ways Biden can soften inflation as soaring prices rock the country. Prices surged through October at the fastest year-over-year pace since 1990, worsening fears that high inflation will turn permanent. Much of the jump came from soaring energy prices, with gasoline leaping 6.1% in October alone.

The average price for a gallon of gas recorded in November — $3.38 — was the highest since 2013, NBC News reported, citing the Energy Information Administration.

The network currently holds more than 600 million barrels of crude oil, meaning the White House can release plenty more oil if it sees fit. Still, relief won’t be instant. The reserve stores crude oil, meaning it will take some time for the product to be refined into gasoline. The US also used about 8 million barrels of gasoline per day in 2020, signaling the release will be used up in about a week.

News of the release did little to calm the oil market. West Texas Intermediate crude futures — the benchmark oil price in the US — rose in Tuesday trading after the White House’s announcement.

Other countries including China, India, Japan, South Korea, and the UK were also planning to release oil from their reserves, the White House said. The coordinated release aims to soften gas prices around the world instead of providing support in only one market.

Emergency releases from the US Strategic Petroleum Reserve often take place after unforeseen disruptions to oil supply. In 2017, then-President Donald Trump’s administration released 5.2 million barrels of oil after Hurricane Harvey shut down crude oil deliveries to the US.

As Insider’s Andy Kiersz has reported, the US demand for gas increased as the economy opened and Americans started driving more, while supply remains constricted due to lower US production and overseas oil exporters repeatedly agreeing to only modest increases in production.

Last week Biden asked the Federal Trade Commission to look into the “mounting evidence of anti-consumer behavior by oil and gas companies,” citing the soaring gas prices even as fuel costs declined.

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A Pennsylvania gas station briefly closed after the only person working walked off the job, leaving a note saying customers ‘treat our employees horribly’

A woman holds a pump nozzle in her hand at a gas station and refuels a car.
A woman holds a pump nozzle in her hand at a gas station and refuels a car.

  • A Pennsylvania gas station briefly closed on Tuesday after its only employee at the time walked off.
  • The worker left a note saying customers “treat our employees horribly,” per local CBS station KDKA.
  • A spokesperson said the worker had a “negative” guest experience but the complaint was “inaccurate.”

A gas station in Pennsylvania briefly closed this week after its only employee walked off the job.

The GetGo convenience store in Moon Township, roughly 15 miles west of Pittsburgh, was unstaffed for about an hour on Tuesday morning, according to local CBS station KDKA

The worker walked off at around 6 am, leaving behind a note that said, “Closed because the people of Moon Township treat our employees horribly!!! And ran off the staff.”

GetGo spokesperson Jim Sweeney told KDKA, “The store was closed after a team member — the sole team member working in the GetGo at the time — had a negative experience with a guest. During the brief closure, the team member involved posted a handwritten sign in a store window making inaccurate claims about treatment by guests.”

The gas station reopened around 7 am. In a statement to Pittsburgh City Paper, GetGo said, “This regrettable sign in no way reflects the appreciation our company and the dedicated Moon Township store team have for those we serve.”

“The Team Member remains with the company and we are working with her to learn as much as possible about the situation and to offer any support needed,” GetGo spokesperson Dan Donovan told Insider.

The incident points to a larger pattern of workers fed up with issues like low wages and rude customers leaving their jobs. A record 4.4 million Americans quit their jobs in September, according to the most recent Job Openings, Layoffs, and Turnover Survey (JOLTS) release from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, with leisure and hospitality workers quitting at more than twice the average national rate.

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Biden says gas companies may be guilty of ‘illegal conduct’ and ripping off Americans to pump up profits

A woman holds a pump nozzle in her hand at a gas station and refuels a car.
A woman holds a pump nozzle in her hand at a gas station and refuels a car.

  • Biden asked the FTC to investigate potential “illegal conduct” at oil and gas companies.
  • He wrote that as prices at the pump continue to rise, major players in the industry are making profits.
  • Gas prices are at a seven-year high right now as supply for gas can’t keep up with demand.

Gas prices in the US have hit a seven-year high due to increased demand and limited supply — and President Joe Biden wants to make sure the companies raising prices on Americans aren’t engaging in bad behavior.

On Wednesday, Biden sent a letter to Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Chair Lina Khan requesting she look into the “mounting evidence of anti-consumer behavior by oil and gas companies.” He wrote in the letter that gas prices have continued to rise even as fuel costs have declined, and the largest companies in the industry are generating significant profits off of the increased prices at the pump. 

“The bottom line is this: gasoline prices at the pump remain high, even though oil-and-gas companies’ costs are declining,” Biden wrote. “The FTC has authority to consider whether illegal conduct is costing families at the pump. I believe you should do so immediately.”

As Insider’s Andy Kiersz reported, gas prices across the US hit their highest level since 2014 in October, with the average price per gallon amounting to $3.41 on November 8. This spike could come down to Americans traveling by car more often during the pandemic, constraining gas supply, and domestic and global oil producers are only moderately increasing supply. 

Still, as Biden wrote in the letter, the largest companies in the industry — ExxonMobil and Chevron — have doubled their net income since 2019, contributing to evidence of the “anti-consumer behavior” the president referenced.

This is Biden’s latest effort to take on rising prices and inflation that are hurting Americans’ wallets across the country. In August, Biden asked the FTC to monitor potential illegal conduct in the US’ gasoline market, and he also called on the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) to boost output to keep up with increased consumer demand.

“I do not accept hard-working Americans paying more for gas because of anti-competitive or otherwise potentially illegal conduct,” Biden wrote. “I therefore ask that the Commission further examine what is happening with oil and gas markets, and that you bring all of the Commission’s tools to bear of you uncover any wrongdoing.”

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An invisible gas that smells like ‘rotten flesh sitting in the sun’ is causing headaches and nausea in a California city

Dominguez Channel in Carson
The Dominguez Channel in Carson, California, on October 11, 2021.

  • The city of Carson, California, has smelled like vomit or rotten eggs for roughly a month.
  • Local officials attribute the odor to a toxic, colorless gas called hydrogen sulfide.
  • Some residents have developed headaches and nausea, likely as a result of the fumes.

Los Angeles County Supervisor Holly Mitchell was driving along the 405 freeway last month when she caught a whiff of rotten eggs. Others in the area noticed it, too. Residents of Carson, a city just south of downtown Los Angeles, compared the scent to farts, vomit, body odor, and “the stench of death” in posts on Facebook and Twitter.

The city smells like “rotten flesh sitting in the sun,” Monique Alvarez, a third-generation Carson resident, told The Los Angeles Times.

The LA County Department of Public Health attributed the odor to low levels of hydrogen sulfide, a colorless gas, on October 9. The gas is emanating from the Dominguez Channel, a 15.7-mile river that empties into the ocean at the Port of Los Angeles.

At low concentrations, hydrogen sulfide can cause headaches, nausea, coughs, shortness of breath, and irritation of the eyes, nose, and throat. High concentrations, far higher than those detected at the Dominguez Channel, could potentially result in coma or death.

In a recent statement, Mitchell said some Carson residents have experienced headaches and nausea. Other residents told The Guardian and LA Times that they’re experiencing respiratory problems, such as coughs or trouble breathing.

“My grandson coughs in the evening, and it’s terrible,” Pamela Brown, a 60-year-old realtor in Carson, told the LA Times. “There’s something going on, and they want us to believe this is all OK.”

In a statement, the LA public-health department said residents’ symptoms “should go away when the odors are no longer present.” It recommended keeping doors and windows closed and using an air conditioner. But the stench hasn’t disappeared, despite the county’s attempts to mitigate it.

So on October 19, LA County said it would reimburse residents for air purifiers and hotel rooms. Health officials also advised residents to keep their pets indoors and avoid outdoor exercise between 9 p.m. and 8 a.m. – when hydrogen sulfide levels in the air are higher – while county officials work to eliminate the smell. Then on October 25, the city of Carson declared a state of emergency to secure additional funding for hotel rooms and air purifiers. Carson and LA County have relocated more than 1,300 residents so far, The Guardian reported.

The hydrogen sulfide likely comes from decaying vegetation and marine life

Carson California Oil refineries
Oil refineries in Carson, California, in 2014.

Public-health officials are still investigating how the noxious gas came to permeate the air.

In early October, Carson Mayor Lula Davis-Holmes suggested that a leaking pipeline had emitted the gas. More recently, though, LA County public works officials said they’re investigating whether a September earthquake released hydrogen sulfide from a local refinery or chemical plant. The department did not respond to Insider’s request for comment.

Meanwhile, South Coast Air Quality Management District, a local air pollution agency, has attributed the gas to naturally decaying vegetation and marine life that washed onto the channel banks during low tide.

Some Carson residents think that material washed up after debris from a warehouse fire clogged the channel, causing decaying plants and animals to build up. Eight residents have filed a lawsuit alleging that to be the case. But California’s ongoing drought may have also caused vegetation to dry out naturally and emit hydrogen sulfide.

Either way, LA County public works officials are now pumping oxygen into the canal to counteract that chemical process. They’re also spraying a biodegradable deodorizer to mask the smell.

carson toxic smell
Carson City Council Member Jawane Hilton, Mayor Lula Davis-Holmes, and California state Sen. Steven Bradford discuss the foul odor at a press conference on October 25, 2021.

So far, the strategy seems to be working. LA County officials told residents at a town hall last week that hydrogen sulfide levels in the air had declined to around 1,000 parts per billion (ppb) during the day, The Guardian reported. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, hydrogen sulfide doesn’t pose a risk of permanent health problems until people are exposed to 27,000 ppb for one hour, or 17,000 ppb for eight hours. At most, county officials said, hydrogen sulfide levels in the air reached 7,000 ppb at night.

But the smell still lingers, prompting some Carson residents to say the cleanup isn’t quick enough.

“If you can’t sleep in your home, it’s not your fault,” Davis-Holmes told local news station KTLA, adding, “if it was any other community, I think a community that was not of color, I think we would’ve gotten a better response time.”

To eliminate the gas, public-works officials may eventually need to dredge the channel to remove debris from the bottom – a process that could take months.

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Americans are paying more for gas than they have in 7 years, with some Californians paying more than $5 a gallon

A sign advertising gas prices approaching $5.
Gas prices approaching $5 a gallon are displayed in front of a Shell gas station on October 05, 2021 in San Rafael, California.

  • Consumers are paying more for gas in the US than they have since 2014, according to AAA.
  • The national average for a gallon of regular gas stood at $3.22 on Wednesday.
  • Gas prices have been rising in recent months amid an oil supply shortage.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

In the face of an ongoing oil rebound, American consumers are spending more on a gallon of gas today than they have in seven years, according to the American Automobile Association.

On Wednesday, the national average for a gallon of regular gas stood at $3.22 – the most expensive it has been since October 2014, CNBC first reported. And in many places across the country, motorists are paying even more to fill up.

In California, the average price of a gallon sits more than one dollar higher than the national average at $4.42. And in certain parts of the state, prices have reached $5.

Meanwhile, Mississippi boasts the lowest price per gallon at $2.85.

Prices in recent months have been steadily rising amid increasing demand for petroleum products following the steep fall in 2020 spurred by the coronavirus pandemic. As people have returned to the roads, demand has soared while supply has remained low.

Hurricane Ida, which struck the Gulf Coast in late August, worsened the supply problem by knocking production offline.

Then, last week, despite pressure from massive consumers like the US and India to increase crude supplies amid the shortage, OPEC+ instead chose to keep output at 400,000 barrels per day based upon an existing agreement.

Oil prices have climbed more than 50% this year alone, CNBC reported.

Last year at this time, the national average cost for a gallon of gas was $2.18, more than one dollar less than today’s average price, according to AAA.

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How do we solve climate change? Abolish fossil fuels

giant green head blowing out smoke stacks against a red sky
Fossil fuels such as oil, gas, and coal contribute tremendously to the climate crisis.

  • Our climate change goals are way too small for the severity of the crisis.
  • Calling for the complete end of fossil fuel extraction is the only way forward.
  • Other movements have proven that bold calls for abolition can radically change politics.
  • P.E. Moskowitz is an author, runs Mental Hellth, a newsletter about capitalism and psychology, and is a contributing opinion writer for Insider.
  • This is an opinion column. The thoughts expressed are those of the author.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

As Joe Biden campaigned for president in 2020, he outlined an environmental agenda that included achieving 100% clean energy in the US by 2050. The goal was ambitious, but details were scant on how to get it done. How, for example, would Biden meet the target while simultaneously promising to not ban fracking, an extractive process that contributes tremendously to the climate crisis?

More recently, Biden pledged to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 50% by 2030. But again, details on how to actually achieve this goal were sparse. Hobbling the administration’s chances even further is the fact that Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia, a pro-oil politician who directly profits from the industry, will craft a large part of the party’s climate change policy.

And while the president tours global-warming ravaged communities, his administration has nonetheless opened up 80 million acres in the Gulf of Mexico for oil leasing, leading to lawsuits from environmental groups.

Even the ambitious climate goals laid out by politicians in campaign promises fall far short of what’s needed to stop the climate crisis.

Though Biden and the Democrats can be blamed for their conflicting and inconsistent priorities, the base of the issue lies not with politicians, but with those of us who care about combating global warming. If Biden represents the most ambitious mainstream climate plan to date, that means we have not been ambitious enough in what we demand of our politics. We can no longer ask for abstract goals, or rely on the slow machine of electoralism. We must demand radical action – the complete abolition of the oil and gas industry.

We need a big, concrete goal

We already know that the time for action on climate is past-due. Even if we stopped all oil and gas production today, it’d be too late to arrest many of the effects of climate change. The desire to do something about climate change is there – public concern about climate change has grown steadily over the last few years, and the majority of people in most developed countries say they’d be willing to take action to prevent climate change.

Yet the demands we make of our politicians are milquetoast. Climate was not a central feature of the 2020 presidential debates, and the broadcast media barely covers climate at all, meaning our politicians are rarely pressured to take the drastic measures necessary to tackle the crisis.

And that’s because Americans don’t have a concrete goal for how to tackle climate change – we get lost in the morass of individual action (reduce, reuse, recycle), or in the technocratic, long-term goals of politicians. Only when the mainstream public has a real target to strive for will we be able to make actual progress on climate change. We need to call for the complete abolition of extractive industries.

There is no moderate solution to a global crisis. Fossil fuel combustion accounts for the vast majority of US carbon dioxide emissions. Eliminating these emissions by replacing our power grid with 100% clean energy is feasible and would work to get us to net zero, but right now it’s not politically palatable, largely because politicians are bankrolled by the corporations threatened by green energy. We often talk about global warming as if it’s an abstract concept that’s too complex to solve, when in reality its cause is relatively simple: Oil and gas companies are largely to blame, and stopping them will largely stop the problem.

But as long as there’s a profit incentive to keep extracting oil and gas, there will be no reason for oil and gas companies to stop. So we must eliminate the ability of oil and gas companies to profit from extraction, whether through laws that make the process illegal, or through massive protests that make the daily functions of oil and gas companies untenable.

This might seem like a lofty goal considering the bleak political moment we live in, but by drawing this line in the sand, we can then effectively evaluate whether politicians are moving toward that goal or not, and can develop a clearer sense of what actions need to be taken to meet that goal.

As Naomi Klein writes in “This Changes Everything,” politicians almost never declare an issue a crisis worth taking drastic action on until people force them to.

“Slavery wasn’t a crisis for British and American elites until abolitionism turned it into one,” Klein writes. “Racial discrimination wasn’t a crisis until the civil rights movement turned it into one … if enough of us stop looking away and decide that climate change is a crisis worthy of Marshall Plan levels of response, then it will become one, and the political class will have to respond.”

Shifting the Overton window

Having a concrete goal (stopping the worst effects of climate change) with a concrete target (stopping oil and gas extraction) is the only way to move a pro-environment agenda forward.

As of now, there is no mainstream coherent objective when it comes to climate beyond “do something about it.” Contrast that with other successful political movements: Occupy Wall Street fought not for incremental change, but against the actions of specific banks and for the end of economic inequality. During the uprisings over police killings of people of color in the past year, activists fought not for an abstract idea of reform, but the complete abolition (or at least defunding) of the police. Socialist activists who supported Bernie Sanders in 2020 fought not to “do something” about healthcare, but for an actual policy proposal – Medicare for All.

Though all of these movements met setbacks and were repressed by the state, they undoubtedly shifted the Overton window of our politics so that once seemingly impossible ideas are now part of everyday political dialogue. Dramatic restructuring of police departments, vast economic change and free healthcare – ideas that just a few decades ago were barely even part of mainstream discourse – are now discussed as realistic goals. This push creates a positive cycle of change: The discourse shifts, lofty goals then seem feasible, and that allows people to push for more change – more people show up at pipeline protests, more people support movements against police brutality, more people pressure politicians into action – which then further shifts the discourse.

We can now see the same thing happening with the climate crisis: Even major publications are platforming what once seemed like radical solutions to stopping oil and gas production and consumption.

There are already many groups who have gotten the memo to push for massive, systemic change on climate. Students have forced over 100 colleges and universities to divest from fossil fuel corporations. Indigenous rights movements blocked 1.6 billion tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions from being released through protest campaigns, pipeline blockades and other actions, equivalent to 25% of the emissions of the US and Canada each year.

But these movements, as powerful as they are, still remain on the fringe of the fight against climate change. As Klein points out, mainstream environmental organizations push for incremental change, while people thirst for something more radical.

We cannot end climate change without ending the extraction of fossil fuels. But if we keep considering that an unrealistic proposition, we’re doomed to use up massive amounts of people’s energy to push for small reforms, a cycle that creates cynicism and defeatism.

It’s a tall order to abolish all fossil fuel extraction, but the first step is simply naming it as a goal.

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7 photos show chaos at gas stations in the UK, where a fuel shortage has led to mile-long queues, people bottling petrol, and one man riding a horse past the pumps

Lines of cars amid UK fuel shortage
UK fuel shortage.

  • An acute fuel shortage has caused widespread panic for drivers in the UK.
  • Footage shows mile-long queues and customers bottling petrol out of anger and desperation.
  • Insider rounded up key scenes of the chaos happening across the country.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Thousands of gas stations in the UK are facing an acute lack of fuel because of a post-Brexit shortage of truck drivers and panic-buying from consumers.

The supply of drivers has diminished as a result of changes to visa rules, causing tens of thousands of European drivers to leave Britain.

To make matters worse, COVID-19 lockdown restrictions spawned a backlog in training and tests for new lorry drivers to get their licenses, Insider’s Mia Jankowicz reported.

The Petrol Retailers Association (PRA), which acts for more than 5,000 of the UK’s 8,000 gas stations, on Sunday reported that two-thirds of its stations were out of fuel. The rest of them were “running out soon,” per Reuters.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson is considering sending in the military to help deliver gas and ease the shortage. But that isn’t enough to solve the issue, the PRA warned, according to The Independent.

Amid the chaos, concerned drivers have resorted to peculiar and desperate panic-buying behavior, and in some cases, people have become violent at gas stations, per a video reported by The Independent.

Insider rounded up the latest scenes of desperation plaguing the country.

Mile-long queues have built up outside gas stations across London as panicked drivers stock up amid the shortage.

Motorists queue for fuel at a petrol station in Ashford, Kent.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps called the fuel shortage a “manufactured situation” created by a leak to the media by a road haulage association.

Motorists have faced several calls to stop panic-buying petrol. 

In a plea to the public, Johnson said: “I would just really urge everybody to just go about their business in the normal way and fill up in the normal way when you really need it and things will start to improve,” Independent reported

Some people spent time filling up jerry cans with fuel.

A customer fills a fuel container at a fuel filling station in Leyton, east London
A customer fills a fuel container at a gas station in Leyton, east London.

Motoring retailer Halfords said sales of jerry cans soared 1,656% last weekend due to panic buying, iNews reported.

 

Others are packing their cars with cans of fuel.

Motorists fill up their vehicleâs with fuel at a Sainsbury's supermarket petrol station in North West London
Motorists fill up their vehicles with fuel at a Sainsbury’s supermarket petrol station in North West London.

The panic frenzy has caused several oil companies to ration petrol by imposing purchasing limits.

fuel
A garage owner’s sign notifying customers of a £30 limit to their fuel purchases is displayed at a Texaco franchise garage in Helston, England.

British retailer EG Group, which owns 400 service stations in Britain, has imposed a £30 limit on fuel purchases per customer due to the “unprecedented customer demand” in the UK, Reuters reported

One man rode his horse past a queue of cars at a gas station, singing “I don’t need petrol because he runs on carrots.”

A post shared by Gus Lee-Dolphin (@gusleedolphin)


British motoring association AA said there has been a spike in the number of people putting the wrong type of fuel into their cars amid the rush.

A man carrying containers at a Tesco Petrol Station in Bracknell, Berkshire.
The AA has a fleet of specialist “fuel assist” vans to deal with misfuelling incidents, The Guardian reported.

The AA had recently reported 250 such incidents compared with 20 to 25 on an average day, according to a Guardian report.

Motorway signs indicated to drivers which fuel was available at service stations.

Lorries drive past a fuel warning sign on the M1 motorway amid a fuel shortage, in Luton
Lorries drive past a fuel warning sign on the M1 motorway amid a fuel shortage, in Luton.

Big oil companies, including BP, Shell, and Esso have issued a joint statement saying they expected demand to return to normal levels “in the coming days.”

A Shell garage employee holds a sign on the side of the road informing a queue of traffic that they do not have unleaded petrol
A Shell garage employee holds a sign on the side of the road informing a queue of traffic that they do not have unleaded petrol.

“As many cars are now holding more fuel than usual, we expect that demand will return to its normal levels in the coming days, easing pressures on fuel station forecourts,” various oil companies said in a joint statement.

“We would encourage everyone to buy fuel as they usually would,” they added.

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From sausage to sewing machines, here are the everyday products and services that have gone up the most in price since last year

grocery shopping
  • Prices for American consumers increased 0.9% last month, the largest increase in a decade.
  • Used cars have made headlines, while others, like sewing machines, have caused less of a stir.
  • Products and services in over 45 categories had price increases of more than 5%.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Consumer prices are rising, ticking up by 0.9% last month. That’s the largest increase in more than a decade, according to the latest US government figures.

But that figure is just a summary of the overall price picture for American households – the important stuff is in the details.

To see how that top-line number is playing out in everyday life, Insider pored through the tables and plucked out more than 45 product and service prices that have increased by more than 5% since last year.


Food

bacon
Bacon and pork prices are up.

  • Bacon +8.4%
  • Other Pork +6.5%
  • Fresh Seafood +6.4%
  • Whole Milk +7.5%
  • Apples +6.5%
  • Citrus Fruits +9.5%
  • Other Fruit +8.7%
  • Lettuce +5.1%
  • Fast Food +6.2%
  • Vending machine snacks +5.7%

Read more: Why you’re paying more for beef, pork, and eggs right now and when prices are expected to go back down


Fuel

A woman holds a pump nozzle in her hand at a gas station and refuels a car.
People are paying more at the pump.

  • Fuel Oil +44.5%
  • Propane, Kerosene, and Firewood +17.7%
  • Gasoline +45.1%

Read more: How much gas costs in different regions of the US


Home Items

home depot customer shopper washing machines
Household appliances are getting more expensive.

  • Carpets +5.3%
  • Household Furniture +8.6%
  • Washers and Dryers +29.4%

Read more: Wealthy homeowners are dropping nearly $40,000 on luxury stoves that won’t arrive for months. It’s a symptom of a broader appliance shortage hampering homeowners and industry insiders alike.


Clothes and Accessories

levi's jeans
Shoppers are refreshing their wardrobes.

  • Men’s Pants and Shorts +11.1%
  • Boys’ Apparel +5.5%
  • Women’s Outerwear +8.4%
  • Women’s Dresses +15.8%
  • Girls’ apparel +5.5%
  • Shoes +6.5%
  • Watches +7.8%
  • Jewelry +12.3%

Read more: Levi’s CEO says our lockdown weight fluctuations are driving sales for the brand


Vehicles

Comprehensive Car Insurance
The chip shortage is creating all sorts of issues in the autos market.

  • New Trucks +5.7%
  • Used Cars and Trucks +45.2%
  • Tires +5.2%

Read more: Used Corvettes are worth $26,000 more than they were new last year. Here are 8 more used cars that gained value since 2020.


Services

United Airlines Planes Landing
Air travel is coming back strong.

  • Hotels and Motels +16.9%
  • Domestic Services +10.6%
  • Moving and Storage +17.3%
  • Car and Truck Rental +87.7%
  • Car Insurance +11.3%
  • Airline Fares +24.6%
  • Cable and Satellite +TV 5.1%
  • Vet Services +5.2%
  • Delivery Services +7.7%
  • Land-line phone service +6.4%

Read more: All the things that will make your summer vacation more expensive this year


Other Stuff

seamstress, sewing machine
Supplies for hobbies and home arts and crafts are more expensive.

  • Televisions +7.6%
  • Sporting goods +7.5%
  • Cameras +5.6%
  • Sewing Machines and Supplies +13.3%
  • Cigarettes +7.3%

Read more: Here’s everything that could get more expensive in 2021

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How much gas costs in different regions of the US

gas station lines
A customer pumps gas at Costco, as a worker directs traffic, on Tuesday, May 11, 2021, in Charlotte, N.C.

  • Americans are on the move again with travel up 54.6% in April 2021 from April 2020.
  • Gas prices vary throughout the US; prices are over $3.80 per gallon on the West Coast.
  • The following map shows what gas prices are as of July 5 in seven regions across the US.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

It’s summer and Americans are hitting the road and traveling again.

According to the US Energy Information Administration, travel on roads and streets is up 54.6% in April 2021 from the same time a year ago when many states had stay-at-home orders in place.

If you’re planning to take a road trip this summer or spend more time outside than last year, you may want to check out the price of gas in your area. Gas prices have climbed over the past year and as Insider’s Heather Schlitz reported, the American Automobile Association said gas prices could reach a seven-year high, increasing to $3.25 by the end of August.

Gas prices vary depending on where you live in the US.

This map shows the price of regular gasoline per gallon as of July 5, 2021 using data from the US Energy Information Administration. The map is split into Petroleum Administration for Defense Districts, or PADD regions, where each state belongs to a region. We highlighted the prices for the sub-PADDs that make up the East Coast, as the EIA data shows that prices differ within the East Coast region.

Regular gas prices in the West Coast PADD were higher than other regions at $3.84 per gallon. Regular gas prices in the Lower Atlantic PADD, which includes states like Florida and Georgia, were $2.92 per gallon.

Read the original article on Business Insider

As gas soars to its highest price in 7 years, a shortage of tank truck drivers may leave some stations without any this holiday weekend

gas station
A man fills up a car at a filling station.

  • Gas prices are at an almost 7 year high, at about $3.10 a gallon for regular.
  • An estimated 47 million Americans are expected to travel by car this weekend, AAA reported.
  • They may not find gas at stations due to a tank truck driver shortage, CNN reported.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Gas prices will be the highest they’ve been in nearly seven years and some gas stations may not even have any, CNN reported.

The average cost for a regular gallon is the highest since October 2014 at about $3.10.

GasBuddy Head of Petroleum Analysis Patrick de Hann said that the high price is likely to remain high after the holiday weekend.

Additionally, a shortage of tank truck drivers who drive gas to stations could mean some stations may not have any gas at all.

Tom Kloza, global head of energy analysis for the Oil Price Information Service, told CNN the shortages are spread out across the country.

“It used to be an afterthought for station owners to schedule truck deliveries. Now it’s job No. 1,” Kloza told CNN. “What I’m worried about for July is the increased demand works out to about 2,500 to 3,000 more deliveries needed every day. There just aren’t the drivers to do that.”

De Hann said the demand for oil is still the same, so the lack of gas at stations is simply due to the shortage of drivers.

More than 47 million Americans are expected to travel by car this July 4 weekend, AAA is forecasting.

Klonza told CNN that not finding gas at stations could mean people start topping off their tanks more frequently, which may in and of itself cause a shortage down the line.

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