Energy & Environment — Gas prices hit new high with no end in sight

Gasoline prices hit a new high, and a UN agency says the world has a 50 percent chance of temporarily hitting 1.5 degrees Celsius of warming in the next few years.

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US hits record high gasoline prices

On Tuesday, the national average for gas prices hit a new high, an unadjusted-for-inflation $4.37 per gallonaccording to AAA.

  • Adjusted for inflation, the prices still remain below the 2008 peak of $4.11, which would have been equivalent to about $5.37 per gallon in 2022 dollars
  • But, current prices are likely to see another surge ahead of Memorial Day, as existing increases combine with the first summer driving season since 2019 without major COVID-19 restrictions.

There are a few reasons for the likely hikes: AAA spokesperson Devin Gladden noted that the European Union’s proposal to ban imports of Russian oil has “created more volatility and uncertainty in the market” by tightening supplies.

Demand traditionally rises in the US near Memorial Day, a three-day weekend that is the unofficial beginning of summer — when many drive to the beach and beyond with school out for the year.

This year could be a busier weekend than the last two years, when many were locked down due to the pandemic.

And while they are largely caused by external factors, the high prices are already giving ammo to Republicans who have sought to pin the blame on the Biden administration.

“The American people cannot continue to bear the costs of President Biden’s war on American energy. The average price of gasoline is now at $4.37 a gallon. This makes everything more expensive — food, diapers, air fare, heating our homes, buying a car, and much more.”

— Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (Wash.), the top Republican on the House Energy and Commerce panel, said in a statement.

President Biden defended his administration’s energy policies in a new speech on Tuesday: “Here at home, US oil and gas production is approaching record levels. In fact, we produced more oil domestically in my first year in office than my predecessor did in his first year.”

Biden also highlighted actions like releases from the strategic reserve and allowing sales of gasoline with high ethanol content in the summer. And he offered criticism of the GOP.

“Republicans would offer plenty of blame, but not a single solution to actually bring down the energy prices,” he said. “They have no plan to bring down energy prices today [and] no plan to bring down to get us to a cleaner energy-in future tomorrow so in the future American families are no longer subject to the whims of dictators halfway around the world.”

Read more about today’s gas prices here and the upcoming price outlook.

World may soon hit a major warming milestone

The World Meteorological Organization says there’s a 50 percent chance the world’s temperatures will soon reach 1.5 degrees Celsius of global warming — a milestone scientists warn should be avoided to prevent the worst impacts of climate change.

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