The average cost of a gallon of gasoline has increased by more than 30 cents since July 1. In this report for NPR, I take a look at the factors behind the increase, and whether or not prices will keep going up.
If you plot out a chart of 2012′s average gasoline prices, you get what looks like a roller coaster. There’s a steady increase from January to April, the spring peak around $4 per gallon, and then a steady decline in May and June.
By the beginning of July, the national average was hovering around $3.42.
But since then, that roller coaster chart has been heading into its second big climb. Prices have been going up since July 1, and are now approaching $3.80.
So, many drivers are now wondering if we should soon expect to pay even more — or if we’re near the peak.
Tom Kloza, chief oil analyst for the Oil Price Information Service, thinks it’s a short-term problem.
“This is something you’ll have to put up with for a few weeks, maybe more if you’re on the West Coast,” he says. “But certainly not in the majority of the country.”