Gas prices high again?

It costs to be a free country, literally. Due to conflicts worldwide, as well as rising costs at home, our gas prices never seem to reach below three dollars these days. Many  U.S. Citizens own cars and utilize them for their everyday needs  but I often wonder what we will do if gas prices ever reach $5 per Gallon. During this past January and this month of February, we have seen gas prices at their highest ever. We have had a national average gas price of $3.70 per gallon. With our economy struggling to make its way back up, many are now faced with the reality that they may not be able to afford to travel to work. The price of crude oil may increase due to threats within our supply chains. In addition to that, conflicts in countries such as Egypt, Libya, and Iran also increase our gas prices. For example, in 2010, Iran was the nation’s fifth largest oil producer, and they made shipments of oil to Europe. That oil going to Europe is less oil coming to the United States, therefore raising our gas prices. Many people also don’t understand the process of obtaining the gas that we use in our cars. For example crude oil prices represent most of what consumers pay at the pump but, the process of refining crude oil and making the right formulations to produce gasoline costs money as well, roughly 7 percent of what we actually pay. We noticed a peak in gas prices this past summer because gas refiners actually switch gas blends in winter and summer months and the summer month blend is more expensive. The demand for this summer blend of gas is high in the United Sates during the summer because most people are on vacation and driving around often. Our growing economy may also add onto our high gas prices because as more people obtain jobs, more people have the ability to afford cars and purchase gas for their cars. Buses, freight trucks and other vehicles also consume gas in large amounts which can take away from our current supply. Lastly, gas prices fluctuate by state due to various state and local taxes. With that in mind, it is important for our country to really understand how gas prices are determined instead of just blaming the government or gas station affiliates. There are many reasons as to why our gas price is as high as it is today which means that in order for gas prices to decrease, many different changes and improvements must be made worldwide.

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