Brace Yourselves: Gas Prices Are Going To Climb Even Higher This Summer

So maybe you thought the gas prices had finally stopped ticking upward, but if you were entertaining that line of wishful thinking, well, you’re likely to be disappointed. The Energy Department is predicting that gas prices will rise about 6% this summer, up to 24 cents more a gallon during the peak driving season.

The L.A. Times says the summer driving season is defined as April through September, and they’ll be hard months on our wallets at the pump. Peak prices will average around $3.95 for a gallon of regular, a 6.3% increase from last year at the same time, according to the Energy Department’s Short-Term Energy Outlook.

May is expected to have the highest monthly average at $4.01, with a chance for $4 in June. Of course, prices will vary by region, with the West Coast leading with an average of about $4.20 for the season.

Because of the pain at the pump, gasoline consumption is expected to fall about 0.5% this summer, compared to the same time last year. Hop on those bikes and lace up your walking shoes, everybody!

However, it’s interesting to note that another interpretation of the numbers by analysts, as cited in this USA Today article, paints a rosier picture. Taking into account the falling price of crude oil and predictions on what a barrel will cost this summer, and the slowdown of the global economy, a few experts say prices won’t skyrocket as feared.

We’ll find out soon enough, eh?

Summer gas prices will climb 6%, Energy Department forecasts [Los Angeles Times]

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  1. TheMansfieldMauler says:

    Whenever gas prices went up during the Bush “regime”, it was Bush’s fault.

    Whose fault is it now?

    Hypocrisy personified: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=qKdScVerrBU#!

    • Ben says:

      Nice try.

      • TheMansfieldMauler says:

        You obviously didn’t watch the video. In it, Pelosi, Hillary Clinton and Obama all blamed high gas prices specifically on Bush. Gas prices are higher now. What are they saying today?

    • MutantMonkey says:

      It wasn’t Bush’s fault just like it isn’t Obama’s fault. The idiots that believe everything that the talking heads say will never be reasoned with. Focusing on those arguments does nothing for the hopes of an intelligent conversation.

    • Mike says:

      The idea that a president can significantly reduce gas prices, no matter who it is, is simply ridiculous. Unless the President is a magician, who can reduce the demand of China and India, convince OPEC not to decrease production when prices go down, and finally nationalize our oil industry, then there is no hope for any significant reduction in our price at the pumps.

      • TheMansfieldMauler says:

        I don’t disagree…but you see who is blaming who on the video.

        • Mike says:

          I watched the video and to be honest the blame game is a game for losers no matter who plays it. We waste everyone’s time when we play that game. We need to stop using oil as our main fuel for transportation, I don’t care whether you call yourself a Republican or Democrat.

          • alexwade says:

            Thank you!

          • Cat says:

            “We need to stop using oil as our main fuel for transportation”

            Unfortunately, I see few viable alternatives in the near future. However, I think one thing that would help is to stop using oil for any purpose other than transportation until there is a viable alternative.

            Example: Using oil for heating and electric generation, when natural gas / propane are available and cheaper.

            • LanMan04 says:

              Unfortunately, I see few viable alternatives in the near future.
              ———-
              Which is why we need a Manhattan Project-style effort to figure this out before it’s too late. Either that or society falls apart…

              • BurtReynolds says:

                Unfortunately the “statesmen” in our government wouldn’t want to devote resources to putting their friends in the oil industry out of business.

                Or they would do what we do now, and insist that a private/public effort is the best option and funnel public dollars to the oil companies while telling us that Exxon will actively work to find a replacement to the product that gives them record breaking products. Suuure, they will get right on that.

                It is hopeless. You would need at least 270 (218 + 51 +1) honest people with the country’s best interest in mind to be sent to Washington. No chance with our current system.

      • lawnmowerdeth says:

        Devaluing the dollar, causing inflation, is something the President definitely has an influence on, and it’s probably the biggest reason gas prices continue climbing.

      • LanMan04 says:

        Unless you invade 2 middle-eastern countries and freak everyone the fuck out.

        If Obama invaded Iran tomorrow, I’d be blaming him for $8/gal gas.

      • Snoofin says:

        He could however encourage more domestic drilling and then prevent the exporting of that oil to the world market via ridiculously high export tarriffs. He could also put the building of new refineries on the fast track so we can more efficiently refine out oil

      • BurtReynolds says:

        Unfortunately most Americans believe this to be true, and is just one of the many non sequitors that hijack our political process to ensure we get the biggest loser each party can find.

        They think the POTUS can affect the price of oil/gas.
        They think opening up domestic drilling would have some profound effect on the price of US gasoline.
        They think some oil released from the “strategic reserve” will lower the price.

        As Mike said. The only way the first two work is 1) the government sets a gas price a la China. Or 2) if you nationalize American oil production, a la Venezuela. Then American production could become American supply.

        So which solution does the guy in his F-250 with a “Drill here, Drill now, Pay less” sticker want? Follow the Communist country or the Socialist one?

    • clippy2.0 says:

      in my mind everytime you post something, a clown jumps out from behind you and beats you senseless

    • SharkD says:

      For some strange reason, inflation-adjusted crude oil prices skyrocketed, beginning in 2003.

      I can’t quite recall who was President then, or what could have possibly happened to affect the global oil markets so dramatically‚Ķ

      http://inflationdata.com/inflation/inflation_rate/historical_oil_prices_table.asp

      I’m just glad we invaded Iraq and found all those WMDs, calmed Turkish fears of an independent Kurdistan, stopped the influence of the Iranian regime amongst Iraq’s radical Shi’ite clerics and prevented al Qaida from gaining a foothold, bringing peace and stability to the oil-rich Middle East.

      /ohwait

      • ARP says:

        This. In “normal” economic times, the President has limited control over oil prices (no more than any other macroeconomic factor). However, if a President decides to invade a bunch of middle-east/ Persian countries, that can have a significant impact. If Obama announced tomorrow that we were invading Iran, gas prices would go up.

        • SharkD says:

          Who needs Obama?

          Whenever [Generic Republican Presidential Candidate/Senator/Congressman/Dogcatcher] says we should immediately begin bombing Iran, the markets get all weak-kneed and the speculative price of a barrel of crude jumps $5.

  2. j2.718ff says:

    http://consumerist.com/2012/04/let-the-gouging-begin-gas-prices-may-have-finally-peaked.html

    From these two articles, I’ve concluded, “Gas prices are going to climb” this summer, from the current average of $3.927 to a predicted peak of $3.95. Did I get that math right?

    • Clyde Barrow says:

      Now I am really glad that I bought a new Fiat Sport 500c. When the engine hit 11k miles, the MPG jumped from 37 to 39 on the highway. It’s getting 37 in the city.

  3. caradrake says:

    I’ve looked into getting a bus pass for my husband to use to get to/from work. With walk time, it’d take 40 minutes, versus around 20-25 walking. So that’s not too bad. But it doesn’t look like we’d save much money – the same amount he spends on gas would go to paying for the bus pass. Would save a little from wear/tear type stuff, I guess.

    Overall, we’re torn. A bus pass would let him read/play games/do work on the ride, so there’s that.

    Here, kids under 12 are free with an adult. My bus fare is going to be about 12 price once I get my student ID. So I definitely want to do the bus to go to the beach and such, so we’re not paying parking (or trying to find parking in the first place).

    • Yomiko says:

      I have had an hour commute doing drive/train/subway (about 1/3 each) and an hour commute all driving (with perhaps half that sitting in heavy traffic). I would take the public transportation option again. Delays and waiting in the cold stink, but the ability to just sit there and zone out until your stop is so nice.

      • caradrake says:

        Yeah, that’s kinda why I’m encouraging him to do that, even if the money savings are minimal. Plus it’d leave the car with us in case we need it for emergencies or whatever.

        I would much rather an hour of reading/playing a game/writing a novel, than 30-45 minutes of driving.

    • ilovemom says:

      Your insurance company may offer a discount if you provide the expired bus passes. It’s a huge pain for little savings. You’ll need 12 months of bus passes. There are other residual savings; you might argue that the risk of an accident or traffic ticket (that might increase your insurance) is reduced when taking the bus. And walking is good for you.

    • Jillia says:

      Oh how I miss commuting by train and working in the city. Walk to the train was 5 minutes, ride into the city for about 15 minutes, walk a couple of city blocks and I was at work. I was right in Center City and was by everything. I could do nice lunches, run errands, but my job was a dead end. I got a better one, lots of perks, but now I’m driving in traffic through the city for about half an hour, an hour on bad days. Guess that’s the trade off, huh?…

  4. Mike says:

    Having lived in China and India and seen the exploding middle class there, and having lived in the Middle East and having an understanding of the oil industry, let’s be clear. Unless we go all Hugo Chavez and nationalize our oil industry, there is no way we can lower our prices at the pump for any prolonged period. We,ight shave off 5 cents for a little while, but that is optimistic. Any gains we make in production will quickly be offset by increased demand from China and India, and any significant price decreases will be erased once OPEC decides to decrease its output.

    Increased drilling will only make oil companies richer, sure it might create some jobs, but if we are going to have a long-term outlook we should create jobs that help get us off of our oil addiction, rather than perpetuating it.

    http://money.cnn.com/2011/04/25/news/economy/oil_drilling_gas_prices/index.htm

    • dolemite says:

      You have a really nice post. I agree…short term drilling will only equal more oil company profits and will have no impact on prices.

      In 20-30 years when gas is $25 a gallon, I’m sure we will all go: “Now WHY did we drill up all our oil reserves back when it was a cheap $3.50????”

    • majortom1981 says:

      The problem in the US is not the price of the oil but the lack of refineries. The US needs more refineries, and any stopage of one refinery sends prices sky rocketing. Gas prices can be reduced by building more refineries BUT people dont want them built in there back yard.

      Also the fact that more states are requiring ethanol and now the few refineries we do have have to switch back and forth between regular and ethanol laden gas.

      • Mike says:

        I have heard this argument before, and even bought refining stock because of it. But the truth is that refining costs are only about 14% of the total cost of gas at the pump. So even if we doubled our refining capacity, we might be able to get that down to like 8-9%? So if everything goes right we might be able to reduce the price at the pump by 20 cents a gallon or so, a savings which could quickly be offset by any number of factors, whether it is OPEC changing policy, or a hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico.

  5. BigDragon says:

    I miss gas that was less than $1.50. I’m going to switch to a 4-day work week. I already started chaining trips together when gas went over $3.00. These prices are getting out of control. Prices on grocery items are also quickly climbing. The government needs to do something. I’m not buying their excuses. Get the prices down or get voted out of office.

  6. nbs2 says:

    It looks like my town is ahead of the curve – we’ve already bumped up to $3.98. I wouldn’t be surprised to see us bump up to well over $4.01 before May even rolls around.

    I live in the DC area, but far enough from the city that our prices shouldn’t be DC-high.

    • DJ Charlie says:

      $4.03 here as of yesterday.

      • Blueskylaw says:

        $4.42 here in NorthWest corner of Connect-i-cut.

        • drjayphd says:

          How far north and/or west? Last time I got gas up in Torrington or Winsted, it was about $4.05.

          • Blueskylaw says:

            NorthWest of Torrington (more towards the corner) about one mile from the Mass border. Sorry I don’t want to give the exact town but if you know the area you can figure out which place has the ridiculously high prices.
            I used to buy gas at the Twin Stop in Winsted when I drive through there to visit my friend but now they only sell regular grade gas. I give a lot of people rides to Stop & Shop so they use my savings card as a thank you and when i’m in Winsted i’ll use the gas points to save an average of 30 cents, but if I don’t have points then I go to Cumbys in Winsted and pay cash and that makes it usually about 20 cents cheaper than where I live. I used to drive through Great Barrington, Mass once a week and planned my fill-ups then (usually 15-20 cents cheaper) but I only drive through there about once a month now.

            • drjayphd says:

              Yeah, up there, anything west of Colebrook is bound to be expensive as hell. At least they’re about to do us the favor of consolidating the state police so I don’t have to take the long, but scenic drive up to the barracks there for police blotter items.

              And it’s funny you mention paying cash at Cumby’s, as the last time I used a debit card to pay for anything there, it got frozen after the bank put a fraud alert on it. I guess they’ve had enough issues with identity theft that they just assume any cards used there are stolen.

    • Mark702 says:

      Here in Oregon it’s already at $4.25!

    • veronykah says:

      Ha ha ha, gas is $4.49 around the corner from my apartment and has been for a few weeks now.
      Yay LA!

    • BurtReynolds says:

      You are behind. I saw $4.09 yesterday in Ashburn.

  7. Blueskylaw says:

    “Brace Yourselves: Gas Prices Are Going To Climb Even Higher This Summer”

    This really boils my rifle.

  8. George4478 says:

    Gas prices rise during the late spring/early summer? That’s hasn’t occurred since, um, last summer. And the one before that. And the one before that. And…

    Annual news story is annual.

    I’m still going to drive about 1000 miles on my June vacation. It just might cost me an extra $25 now.

    • DarthCoven says:

      1600 miles round trip for Dragon*Con this Labor Day weekend. It’s still cheaper than flying round trip for when you have 3 people splitting the gas, plus the only limit to costumes and props we can bring is how much we can cram into the car.

      • DemosCat says:

        A reason to live in Atlanta. Been going to Dragon*Con for over 10 years now.

        For me it’s a local event. :)

        • DarthCoven says:

          Even if I lived in ATL I’d still nab a room at the Marriott every year, just for the convenience of being able to stumble up to my room at 4AM. We’re what…140 days out now? Better get back to sewing…

          • DemosCat says:

            Dig! We nab a room too, for pretty much the same reason you gave. But we always stay at the “Inn at the Peachtrees” / Best Western (its affiliation with Best Western comes and goes). Cheaper than the Marriott, no long waits for an elevator, and free breakfast too, plus it’s been recently remodeled.

            The downside is you have to walk a little away from the main convention area. Then again, the distance from the Hyatt to the Best Western is less than, say, the distance from the Hyatt to the Sheraton.

        • DarthCoven says:

          Oh, and another reason to live in Atlanta: Mary Mac’s Tea Room

          *drool*

          • DemosCat says:

            Yes, Mary Mac’s is great! Further down from Mary Mac’s on Ponce is a place called Eats. If you like jerk chicken and cheap eats, try Eats. Eats is a bit far for walking distance. Better to drive.

  9. Mr. Fix-It says: "Canadian Bacon is best bacon!" says:

    It’s a shame that the cost of gas isn’t a factor into an area’s cost of living, a subject that has come up recently here in Newfoundland since the Muskrat Falls Hydroelectric Generating Station is slated to start construction soon.

    Going up to 16 cents per kilowatt-hour by 2016 :C

  10. Mr Grey says:

    Gas in my neighborhood just dropped 15 cents.
    Yesterday it was 3.88 today 3.73.

  11. Hungry Dog says:

    Oh hells yeah, with rising tuition costs this will go good with staying at home and not eating for summer break.

  12. Hi_Hello says:

    I thought this year would be the $5.00 mark.

    • MrEvil says:

      The last time gasoline got close to $5/gal (and I was paying 4.95 for Diesel) the economy completely tanked in short order. I’m not saying the price of fuel caused it, but it played a role.

      In order for gasoline to maintain a $5/gal price point there’s going to have to be enough people that are willing to pay for it. We’d all like to think we’re a captive audience, but in the end there’s always an alternative, the question is at what price do the alternatives begin looking rosy?

  13. consumed says:

    I wish gas prices were proportional to the size of vehicle driven.

    For example, people driving a Smart car or a Mini would pay $2.96/gallon.

    Drivers of Yukons and Escalades would pay $5.96/gallon.

    Only makes sense.

    • Mr. Fix-It says: "Canadian Bacon is best bacon!" says:

      Hah, if anything, Big Oil would do the exact opposite, since Minis and Smart-Cars use less gas than massive SUVs.

    • lovemypets00 - You'll need to forgive me, my social filter has cracked. says:

      And what about people like me? I have a Ford Escape. I car pool to work with 4 other people. That’s 5 grown women in one vehicle. So I should pay more because I have an SUV? Or in your world would I get a small discount because I’m hauling 4 additional adults?

      We live in a rural area, with few good paying jobs, so we drive to the next county to work. No public transportation is available.

      I drive only to work, and one trip per week to town (about another 10 miles or so depending on the stops I make). No vacations, no leisure driving.

    • Arctic Snowbot says:

      That sounds stupid. I drive a little hatchback that takes about 11 gallons to fill up on my 13 gallon tank. It’s already proportional since I pay less at the pump, and make it roughly 375 miles per tank. I’ve seen my brother fill up his Yukon for $100 because he has to haul his four boys around. The price shouldn’t be any different for any sized vehicle.

    • flychinook says:

      It already IS like that. Yukons use more fuel than Minis, thus they pay more for fuel to go the same distance.

  14. Fast Eddie Eats Bagels says:

    Since the price of gas is $4.29/gal where I live that means that I’ll be paying close to 5bones a gal. I’m willing to bet that gas drops back down to $2.50gal after the election, no matter who wins. If not I’ll eat my hat.

    • consumed says:

      Those days are over. They conditioned us into accepting $2/gal. Now $3/gal looks cheap. $4 is what they are preparing us to look for tomorrow. That will look cheap when it is $5/gallon. It is never going below $3/gallon again.

  15. rockelscorcho says:

    I’m a teacher, so after the last day of school, I’ll be emprisioning myself in my house. No AC, eat nothing but jerky, drink water, and stay simply still to conserve energy. All blinds in my house will be closed, and the home will be in stasis. No movement. No fuel usage. See you in August. Savings….$3,154

  16. HogwartsProfessor says:

    Christ. The only decent jobs I’m coming across are way on the other side of town, a 20-30 minute commute. I have an interview this afternoon (just sent a resume and two seconds later the CEO called me!) but the place is all the way down by the stupid traffic-infested Medical Mile.

    Am I going to have to mention this if I get job offers from companies more than a ten-minute commute in my negotiations? At least my POS car is finally paid for.

  17. AngryK9 says:

    Average $3.95 at peak? Really? Because it’s already been over $4 around here for over a month now, and in parts of California and New York, well over $5. $3.95. Ha!!

  18. mramos says:

    Glad the only time I buy gas is when I rent a car which happens about once a year. If a lot of people would stop being lazy and buy a bike they would save a ton of gas.

    • lovemypets00 - You'll need to forgive me, my social filter has cracked. says:

      Not everyone lives next to where they work or shop. I couldn’t bike to work – it’s a 46 mile round trip commute, over hilly roads, and 15 miles of it is on a closed 4 lane highway – no bikes allowed.

      • mramos says:

        That’s why I didn’t say everybody. According to the most recent census over 25% have a commute of 15 minutes or less which is obvious bike territory. And there’s plenty of people with even longer commutes who can bike. It would take me at least half an hour to get to work in the mornings by car yet I cycle the 11 miles almost every day and when I don’t I use public transportation.

    • Jules Noctambule says:

      Yeah, because everyone’s geographic location and physical state are equal, it’s a sure bet that people with cars are just lazy people! My mom should totally get rid of her wheelchair lift van and just wheel herself that mile to the grocery store and back.

    • dolemite says:

      I don’t think I’ll be biking 12 miles to work through 45-55 mph roads and no bike lane.

      • mramos says:

        I’ve never had problems biking on roads with 45mph speed limits and no bike lane. I’m also guessing you can find other roads with lower speed limits or bike lanes which would take you to work.

    • Arctic Snowbot says:

      I live in Washington, work in Alaska. My bike commute would be hell. No thanks.

    • ARP says:

      Most cities and communities stopped being bike friendly a long time ago. Progressive cities are slowly trying to reintroduce it, but it will take some times, especially in the burbs.

    • drjayphd says:

      40 miles each way, not counting driving to whatever I’m covering, and my job requires me to have a car. You, and your generalizations, can leave now.

    • SamEBates says:

      Oh yeah! Great idea. I’ll just haul 3-4 50-pound computers on the back of my bike, along with all the cables, keyboards, mice and accessories. Now that you worded it in terms my lazy brain can understand, it makes so much sense.

  19. steam says:

    Heck gas in NY is already $4.26. Thanks to our great tax add on of almost 75cents per gallon.
    Only in NY State do taxes keeping going up and up no matter how hard it screws people who have to drive.
    This country was made great on gas and it will be brought to it’s knees by the same if prices keep going up & up.

    • central_ny_dude says:

      I know the feeling! I was reading this article wondering where their info came from. Certainly wasn’t NY. We pay insane prices at the pump because of the taxes. Yet, we have a huge unemployment problem. I have to drive about 250 miles a week to keep my job here in upstate. We don’t have the buses and trains and transportation alternatives that other places do. I see the prices go up at work everyday, due to the rising transportation costs. Our business is taking a huge hit this year. And they wonder why unemployment here is so high…we can only dream of $3.95 a gallon.

      • BurtReynolds says:

        Central NY isn’t that bad and has a relatively low cost of living compared to many other areas of the country. Be happy you are employed in an area where a house can be purchased for $150k. Gas here “down South” is $4.09. I drive 4-500 miles a week for commuting (that is often jammed the entire way, plus a toll road, and pay to park) and have a $350k townhome. I’d move back to Syracuse if there were jobs available for 60-70% of my current salary. I laugh when I remember commuting to downtown Syracuse on 81 and how it would back up at the Harrison St. exit and I thought that was bad traffic.

    • veronykah says:

      Gas is about the same in Los Angeles, if that makes you feel better.

  20. kimmie says:

    Oh noes… $4.01. It’s close to $5/gal in the SF Bay Area. If the public transit here actually went where I work, I’d be taking it, but I have to suck it up instead.

  21. diagoro says:

    Do we have a list of ‘official’ reasons/excuses that come up?

    1. Refineries are down for maintenance, repairs.
    2. Middle East tension.
    3. It’s the President’s fault (insert party)
    4. It’s the summer travel period.
    5. Future traders.

  22. veronykah says:

    Bring it. I’ll keep driving my scooter with a 1 gallon tank and filling up my Del Sol once a month.
    Gas may already be well above $4 here in Los Angeles but riding 2 wheels makes it significantly less painful.

  23. ned4spd8874 says:

    Bring it. I can get ~30mpg in my truck when I drive 55mph. People hate me, but I don’t give a shit.

  24. Shorebreak says:
  25. xanadustc says:

    AHHH!!! The sky is falling!! Just like it DIDN’T happen last year!

    Really, remember all that hype only 12 months ago…”We will see $5.00 gas!!! We will all go broke!!!”

    I traveled 19 states last summer in search of the elusive $5.00 gas…never found it.

    Please, stop all the fear mongering

  26. Jesse in Japan says:

    I really, really hope that gas prices in America reach 6 or 7 dollars a gallon (or what people in the rest of the developed world call “cheap gas”) so that people will finally realize that they should stop whining, swallow their pride and start driving tiny little fuel-efficient cars.