Gas Prices Through the Roof!

Over the past couple of months, gas prices have increased dramatically across America, especially in Los Angeles, California. With the prices in LA reaching an all-time high average of $5.43 per gallon, consumers question the reasoning behind this madness. 

Asking teen drivers at Wiseburn Da Vinci, there were many different responses as to feelings surrounding gas prices, all of which related to the reduction of driving in households, and uncertainty for the economy. 

“So even though I don’t have a car I still definitely see how it affects the people around me and family it’s like you wouldn’t want to drive anywhere has the gas prices in you can just see like the way it’s affecting everyone like the gas prices over like a month went $2 higher, which is insane.” Said Crystal Lamas, a junior at DVC, when she was asked about gas pricing across California. Though she did express how as a teen driver she does not own a car, the effect is seen within her household and in her community, as distance driving is reduced and questions continue to be drawn about our society financially.

A major reason why people believe gas prices are so high is because of the pandemic, with evidence pointing to how during the pandemic many people would stay at home, driving the demand for gas and oil down. Now it is back, and quite suddenly. 

According to CBS, “Gas prices in Southern California just reached record highs. The reason for the surging prices, according to experts, is actually the pandemic. When the economy was essentially shut down, oil production was severely upended, but now demand is back up.”

Furthermore, by questioning different drivers, the idea that the pandemic is the root of the problem at hand has slightly been ruled out. It is still a statistical reason for why gas prices have increased, yet many believe the core reason resides in war. Diego Marquez, a DVC junior, shared his belief that the gas pricing is higher right now due to the conflict going on between Russia and Ukraine.  

“I think gas prices are high right now just because well, Russia decided to fight, start a war against Ukraine. So then I just think because of that, the companies just are able to put a higher price on gas because they know that other countries are gonna need gas too and it’s just something they could do,” Marquez responded. Experts now point toward the invasion of Ukraine as the key reason behind the inflation of gas prices. 

The invasion that was fired from Russia toward Ukraine left the world in shock. When Russia took effect of its invasion plan, the world seemingly cut them off. Russian citizens began to partially get cut off from the world, and the fact that the United States placed a blockade on oil imports from Russia. According to an article by The Wall Street Journal, Russia alone made up 8% of U.S. imports last year. 

“Oil prices shot up again Tuesday after the U.S. unveiled a ban on Russian imports of crude oil, certain petroleum products, liquefied natural gas and coal,” the Wall Street Journal article stated.

With the reasoning becoming more and more certain for those questioning how gas prices continue to go through the roof, everyone is wondering when and if the prices will go down. Nathan Mayeda, a DVC junior shared his hopes for the gas prices in the future. 

“I believe gas prices will go down as the war goes down. So as long as the war is going on, the gas prices will still be able to stay up because companies can use that as a price raiser, you know,” Mayeda said. He optimistically thinks prices will go down, as do many experts. However, others hold a completely different idea.

“After sharply climbing and reaching a peak on March 11, the average price of a gallon of gas in the United States has begun to decline,” the New York Times wrote.

The New York Times shared some good news for America’s economy: ,the gas price average has begun to decline in America. However, there was one piece of bad news: it would not be the same for California. This alone leaves many in shock, California drivers especially.

Only one thing is certain about the future of our gas economy, and it is that stability is not guaranteed. Some experts believe that the gas prices will continue to rise, while others say that once the war is over in Ukraine, pricing will begin to lower. Therefore, regardless of the many different ideas, gas prices are going to continue to fluctuate with no closure as to what is to come.