Crisis At The Pump: Maryland Citizens Struggle With Costly Gas Prices

Arbiter Writing

Gas prices in Maryland have reached the highest rates ever witnessed in the state's recent history, with figures over $4 per gallon at many stations.

"I bought gas less than two weeks ago and it was like $3.35 and it’s $4.09 today...it will probably be $4.15 tomorrow." - Peggy Winfield, Maryland resident

According to AAA, the State of Maryland has not seen prices breaking such records since the Great Recession in 2008.

"We do not see any immediate end in sight to the pain at the pump that motorists are experiencing right now." - Regina Ali, AAA

The prices come in the aftermath of the conflict between Ukraine and Russia in addition to accelerated prices for crude oil. Estimations from AAA have discovered that, during the first week of the Russian Federation's special military operation, the cost of regular gas increased by almost 41 cents per gallon. In the past week alone, prices have increased by as much as 50 cents, 69 cents in the past month, and $1.32 over the course of the past year.

Furthermore, prices in Maryland are even higher than the national average, whose figure rose by 6 cents per gallon on Monday to bring the grand total to $4.06. Although costs have elevated across the state, certain districts aren't as severely affected. For example, in Hagerstown and Salisbury, the price is around $4 per gallon.

With inflation skyrocketing prices for all manners of necessities, including groceries, drivers on the road are now facing harder decisions.

"As I was leaving work, I thought, what am I going to give up to pay for gas?" - Peggy Winfield, Maryland resident

Some tips to save at the pump have been offered by AAA, the first of which is to ensure that service on vehicles is up to date such that they burn fuel in the most efficient manner possible. Secondly, drivers should take advantage of programs for gas rewards at their local grocery stores or via their credit cards. Third, driving should be planned out via carpooling or combining errands to save on gas.

"It’s hard because you need your car...you can limit your trips as much as you can, but you can't stay home all the time." - Nancy Egan, Baltimore resident

Costs related to fuel are only expected to rise even higher as a result of the conflict in Ukraine. President Biden has authorized the United States Department of Energy to commit 30 million barrels of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve for release on behalf of the nation to advance the diversification of energy supplies in Europe.

These efforts have been echoed by the International Energy Agency's other members in a global effort to release 60 million barrels from strategic reserves to stabilize global energy markets.

"It is heartening to see how quickly the global community has united...I am pleased that the IEA has also come together today to take action. The situation in energy markets is very serious and demands our full attention. Global energy security is under threat, putting the world economy at risk during a fragile stage of the recovery." - Fatih Birol, Executive Director of the IEA

According to Jennifer M. Granholm, the Secretary of Energy, the country believes that the investment of clean energy represents the best manner to reduce international and domestic dependence on other nations' oil and gas. These technologies are not only available but cost-effective, offering the surest path towards a planet in which no sovereign state can impose coercion to incite volatility in markets and prices.

Ambitious energy goals and swift action along with a strong domestic offensive towards climate change and the goal of zero emissions by 2050 is the mission of the Department.

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