High gas prices bring demand for fuel to record lows ahead of peak driving season
LOS ANGELES - Gas prices are so high that demand for fuel during peak driving season this summer is expected to slump, according to experts.
According to data by the Energy Information Administration compiled by Bloomberg, demand for gas has hit its lowest level during this time since 2013, excluding the impacts of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Overall, high gas prices have brought demand down by 5%.
Gas prices have been hitting fresh records for the past 11 consecutive days amid the energy supply crunch in the U.S., according to the American Automobile Association (AAA), which noted that the stretch of record-high prices as the pump is "unprecedented."
Speaking with Fox News Digital, Andrew Gross, the national spokesman for AAA Inc. revealed that drivers should expect elevated prices throughout the summer, especially if the war in Ukraine rages on.
The national average for a gallon of gas was $4.59 last week, a slight increase from the day before and a new record high.
Thursday’s record was 16 cents higher than the week before, nearly 50 cents higher than the month before and $1.55 more compared to the same time last year.
All 50 states had a national retail price over $4 a gallon on Thursday, according to AAA, with Oklahoma offering the cheapest gas at $4.03 a gallon and California offering the most expensive gas with an average of $6.06. Tighter supply and increased demand have pushed gas prices higher, according to the association.
"Demand is up," Gross told Fox News Digital as he explained what is contributing to the elevated prices.
"Typically this time of year we are in a little bit of a lull. There is often a demand lull between spring break and Memorial Day and we had a little bit of it about two weeks ago, but then last week, … there was actually an increase, which is very unusual. I don’t think I’ve ever seen that.
Biden, last month, announced that the Environmental Protection Agency will allow the sale of E15 gasoline – gasoline that uses a 15% ethanol blend – across the country this summer. Biden has also moved to release 1 million barrels of oil per day from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve for the next 6 months. The president is also calling on Congress to make companies pay fees on idled oil wells and non-producing acres of federal lands, aiming to incentivize new production.
Gross noted that the administration’s moves will help "a little bit."
"Driving habits haven’t seemed to change so that’s something to keep your eye on over the next few weeks and months," he added. "With these higher prices, at what point will people decide I’m going to stay home or I’m going to ride a bike."
"It’s really an interesting time right now," he stressed.
"I think a lot of people are probably looking at electric vehicles a lot more seriously now," Gross added.
FOX Business contributed to this story.