Local gas prices setting new record highs

Published: May. 11, 2022 at 4:46 PM CDT|Updated: May. 11, 2022 at 5:27 PM CDT
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GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - If you own any vehicle, your wallet is surely feeling the pain at the pump. That pain is getting worse. Wednesday the national average for a gallon of regular gas reached a new record high of $4.40. Local gas prices are setting their own records.

“It’s something you have to pay for, but it’s really hurting the pocketbook,” Tammy Luedeman, a driver from Denmark, lamented.

“It’s hurting all of us. It’s getting harder for anyone to have any money for anything else nowadays,” Ryan Strong from Hortonville said.

Both AAA and GasBuddy suspect that the prices we’re seeing now are not the highest we’re going to see this summer. Rather, they say it may be a while before the prices at the pumps settle down.

The national average is 15 cents higher than it was 7 days ago. Drivers are angry, frustrated and confused why prices keep going higher.

”We’ve seen about a 20-cent jump just in the last week, and a lot of that is attributable to the announcement last week that the European Union is really beginning to take proactive steps towards limiting and eliminating Russian oil imports from their market,” Nick Jarmusz with AAA said.

That means the countries need to get their oil from other sources, reducing what’s available globally, in addition to the global supply chain issues overall.

“It’s a function of we’re coming out of COVID. Demand is really starting to pick up. At the same time, we’ve also lost some refining capacity in the U.S. over the last few years. So we’ve got a lot of headwinds to contend,” Patrick De Haan, a GasBuddy analyst, said.

AAA says drivers also need to be wary of the usual gas price hikes that come before summer -- when vacation travelers increase the demand -- and drivers need to understand while that may hurt, it’s very normal for this time of year.

“We’re just around the corner from Memorial Day, about to head into the busy summer road trip season, so that upward pressure on prices that will, unfortunately, be with us for a while as we head into that peak driving season, which is also peak gas buying season,” Jarmusz said.

He added, “The vast majority of people -- over 80% of people -- were still saying they were planning to take at least one road trip of 50 miles or more from home at some point over the summer.”

Experts say it will be a while until prices start to go down again.

AAA told us it’s hard to pinpoint when we’ll see prices go back down.

“That’s the magic question,” he said. “They probably will continue to go up, but how high they’ll get before they do, you know, plateau and begin to come back down again is really anyone’s guess.”

Jarmusz says for now, drivers should focus on doing all they can to limit their gas usage -- keeping your car maintained, driving closer to the speed limit -- and avoid driving around to find the best price.

Gas prices are setting new records nationally and locally, and they could keep going up this summer.

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