HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – Gas prices have been slowly rising for months now, and they are setting new records across the country. Experts say they will likely get higher before they get better.
The national average price of gas topped $5.00 this week, and most local prices fall somewhere between $4.50 and $4.70.
“It seems like we’ve been setting a record almost every day for the past few weeks, and it’s not the kind of record we want to be setting,” said AAA spokesperson Clay Ingram.
Ingram said gas prices will likely continue to go up in the near future.
“Our demand is really, really strong,” Ingram said. “Our supply because of the Ukraine situation is a little tight around the world.”
Less than three percent of U.S. oil is supplied in Russia and Ukraine, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. However, the two nations are some of the biggest oil exporters in the world. The disruption in that supply has driven global prices up, and the increase is reflected in the United States.
“It’s just causing our prices to get higher and higher,” Ingram said. However, there is some good news for Alabamians.
“We’re fortunate here in Alabama,” Ingram said. “We’re typically one of the lowest prices five states in the country at any given time. It’s been that way for many, many years.”
Ingram said proximity to both the Gulf of Mexico and significant pipelines like the Colonial Pipeline keep prices down because transportation costs are low. Additionally, the cost of living is relatively low in Alabama, so gas prices don’t see the markup that occurs in other parts of the country.
Summer is here, and you might expect high gas prices would deter people from taking vacations. But Ingram said most vacations are still happening, people are just more careful about how they budget.