Americans are accustomed to the summertime gas spike, but experts say drivers can expect record-shattering prices at the pump this year.
“What we’re about to see the increases will just make it even worse but these are typical increases we would see seasonal,” said AAA spokeswoman Ragina Averella.
How bad will it get? Analysts say drivers can expect gas prices to skyrocket 10 to 20 cents a gallon in the next few weeks along. By mid-May, the national average is projected to spike to a record-smashing $4.25 a gallon.
The news comes at a bad time for President Barack Obama. Last week, in an effort to stem the tide of rising anger over soaring gas prices, Mr. Obama went on a two-day energy tour.
“Anyone who says that we’re somehow suppressing domestic oil production isn’t paying attention,” Obama said in Cushing, Oklahoma, on the second day of a four-state tour to tout his policies.
“And anyone who says that just drilling more will bring gas prices down just isn’t playing it straight,” the president continued. ” We are drilling more. We are producing more. But the fact is, producing more oil at home isn’t enough to bring gas prices down overnight.”
But as a recent report from the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service recently revealed, the overwhelming majority of the increase in oil production—96 percent—came from land not owned by the federal government. In fact, in 2011, oil production on federal lands declined by an average of 275,000 barrels per day, whereas production on non-federal lands increased by 395,000 barrels per day. The CRS’s analysis supports findings from the Energy Information Administration, which found that oil production on federal lands dropped 14 percent in 2011.
On January 19, 2009, the day before Barack Obama was sworn in as President of the United States, gas prices were $1.84 a gallon. This week alone, gas prices jumped six cents, raising the national average to around $3.90 a gallon.