Why Is Gas Going up Again?
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Gas Prices Are Going up Again — Here’s Why

Why is gas going up again? Well, it all has to do with supply and demand.

Rayna Skiver - Author

Apr. 12 2023, Published 11:01 a.m. ET

We’ve watched gas prices drop to extreme lows, surge to all-time highs, and then go back to average. Now, gas is going up again, and everyone is trying to figure out why.

These price fluctuations can be really frustrating for everyday citizens trying to get to and from work in areas that lack reliable public transportation — which, sadly, is a good chunk of the U.S. And this time, oil production cuts and high demand are responsible for the increased gas prices and frustrated consumers.

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Gas prices have been all over the place, but recently, they started increasing again.

High Gas Prices
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Both oil production cuts and an increase in demand are causing prices to rise at the pump.

OPEC+ oil producers recently announced that they would be making production cuts starting in May and lasting through the year. It’s expected that these cuts will amount to more than 1 million barrels each day, according to the Detroit Free Press.

And as summer approaches, demand for gas in the U.S. is steadily increasing — it went from 9.15 to 9.3 million barrels per day, the Detroit Free Press reported. Consumers might notice the consequences of a decreased supply and a higher demand. Gas prices are expected to remain high in the spring, but there’s a chance they will slump in the summer.

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High oil prices create a variety of different outcomes.

Product Aisle
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While the high cost of oil might seem like a singular problem to some, it actually comes with some other consequences. We know that about 60 percent of oil consumption around the world comes in the form of fuel, but many don’t realize that the other 40 percent is found in a variety of different products, according to NBC News.

Petroleum is hidden in thousands of everyday products, some of which might surprise you. NBC News explained that it’s in a ton of different items, such as makeup, plastic bags, fertilizer, clothing, and more. This is because many products are either packaged in various types of plastic, or even use petroleum as an ingredient.

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A lot of these plastics are made with polyethylene or polypropylene, which have a foundation of ethane and propane — both of which are rising in cost. As a result, the price of these items could likely increase as well, NBC News reported.

Huge and important sectors such as agriculture and health are also affected by high oil prices. Much like the previously-mentioned items, a lot of medical or health products are petrochemical-based, causing these costs to rise as well. The only difference is that consumers might not notice the increase right away.

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But that’s certainly not the case in grocery stores — anyone with a regular shopping routine has noticed the ever-changing price tags. Of course, there are many different contributing factors to grocery costs, and rising oil prices is one of them. Large-scale farms typically use industrial fertilizers containing fossil fuels, which first results in higher grain prices and then trickles down to the consumer level, NBC News explained.

It’s possible that surging gas prices could have some good outcomes, too.

Public Transportation
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If you’re someone who likes to look on the bright side of things, then the rising cost of oil isn’t all bad. When gas prices skyrocket, it can really make people reconsider their lifestyle — all of a sudden, driving just isn’t going to work.

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The cost of gas can be a financial burden for many, and when prices get even higher, it can force (or inspire) people to try out different modes of transportation. Maybe someone who lives close enough to work will decide to start walking or biking. Perhaps people with a bit of a journey will choose to ride the bus or carpool.

Unfortunately, not everyone has access to those options in the U.S. In such a car-centric country, public transportation tends to be unreliable or completely nonexistent in some areas. According to the American Public Transportation Association (APTA), 45 percent of Americans have absolutely no access to public transit.

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This makes it basically impossible to get around without a car, especially in rural areas. High gas prices might bring attention to this issue and create support for more sustainable modes of transportation.

And for people with the necessary resources, electric cars might move to the forefront of their minds. This might be a great time to start the conversation of getting rid of fossil fuels altogether — if you have an electric car, there’s not much of a reason to worry at the pump. Instead of going along with the sporadic cost of oil, you could simply opt out.

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