Gas prices continue to shift day to day in the state of New Jersey. One year ago the average price for a gallon of gas in The Garden State was $2.80. Today April 5, 2022, the average price is $4.37. Even before the international crisis in Ukraine, Americans were facing higher costs in gasoline in a large part to a quick return to the highways after Covid 19 restrictions were lifted.
The long-awaited 2-year relief of mask mandates and business closings had many people quickly rushing to drive the roads and explore once again. Vacations, shopping, and long-awaited family gatherings began to influence the use of motor vehicles and the use of gasoline across the United States.
The Russian invasion began in February of 2022 in Ukraine. President Joe Biden had the United States ban imports of oil, natural gas, coal, and petroleum products from Russia. Without that specific supply source, countries including the United States had to look for other places to meet the needs of their populations.
As of April 4, 2022, President Biden decided to release one million barrels of gasoline per day for approximately six months from The Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) to help send the global price for gas downward. The Strategic Petroleum Reserve is a group of underground salt caverns along the Gulf Coast of the United States where crude oil is stored. This organization is managed by the Department of Energy of the United States and originated in 1975. This specific reserve is known to be the largest emergency supply of crude oil in the free world.
“The upward push on oil prices caused by Russia’s war in Ukraine is meeting stronger downward pressure from the planned SPR oil release and increased COVID fears in China,” said Andrew Gross, AAA spokesperson. “And lower global oil prices are reflected in falling pump prices for consumers in the U.S.”
Many industries ship products and raise their prices due to higher transportation prices. Therefore, the rise in prices at the pumps due to the international conflict impacts our individual households as well. The inflation we have seen due to supply and demand issues puts pressure on our budgets. Americans paying more for their basic living resources indicates fewer savings to put away for our futures.