Motorists across the U.S. are grappling with gasoline prices that are hitting new records almost every day, but the pain isn’t evenly distributed across the country. In just a few places, a gallon of regular fuel now costs as much as the federal minimum wage of $7.25.
According to Patrick De Haan, an oil and gas price expert at GasBuddy, gas station prices have reached a painful threshold at nine stations — all in California. Granted, California’s minimum wage is well above the federal minimum, and workers in the state earn at least $14 an hour, but paying $7.25 a gallon or more would still take a significant portion of a typical salary.
On average, California drivers pay more for gas than drivers in any other state – average $6.15 gallons, according to AAA. That’s partly due to higher taxes that pay for infrastructure and other costs, but Severin Borenstein, an economist at the University of California, Berkeley, also says “Mystery Gas Surcharge”, or price gaps that cannot be fully explained by fees or other factors.
Here’s what gas stations in California charge at least $7.25, according to GasBuddy:
- Chevron at 901 Alameda Street, Los Angeles: $8.05 per gallon
- Chevron’s 51557 US-395 at Lee Vining: $7.39 per gallon
- Chevron 712 North CA-127 in Shoshone: $7.39 per gallon
- Shell, 453 Main Street, Bridgeport: $7.39 per gallon
- Valero, 377 Main Street, Bridgeport: $7.35 per gallon
- Mobil at 8489 Beverly Blvd. Los Angeles: $7.29 per gallon
- Shell 51424 US-395 at Lee Vining: $7.29 per gallon
- Mobil at 22 Vista Point Drive, Lee Vining: $7.29 per gallon
- 3600 Alameda Blvd., Menlo Park, Chevron: $7.39 per gallon
Average gasoline prices hit record highs as Americans enjoy Memorial Day weekend $4.62That’s up from $4.18 a month ago and $3.04 a year earlier, according to AAA.
Elsewhere in the U.S., DeHaan warns tweet Gasoline prices are likely to continue to rise in the Great Lakes region and Florida on Monday, with a gallon of regular gasoline already costing $4.69 in cities like Tallahassee and Palm Beach, according to GasBuddy.
Drivers spend more on gas
Americans have grown increasingly pessimistic about the economy amid fears of the highest inflation in 40 years and fears of a recession that have sent stocks tumbling.Take the new CBS News poll. While motorists continue to fuel up, they are cutting back on spending in other areas — like eating out — to compensate.
The impact of high gas prices is increasing: The typical household now spends $4,800 a year on gasoline, up from $2,800 a year ago,Wall Street analyst Ed Yardeni.
Unfortunately, analysts are not predicting a pullback in natural gas prices anytime soon. De Haan sees a good chance of oil hitting $5 a gallon this summer, while a more pessimistic recent analysis by JPMorgan predicted the national averageto August.
Berkeley’s Borenstein recentlyCBS News said he doesn’t expect to hit $2 or $3 a gallon anytime soon. That’s because crude oil prices have risen since a year ago, and the world’s demand for fossil fuels is rising even as supply lags, he noted.
“Even beforeWe see a lag in oil production. U.S. producers are reporting that they have difficulty getting workers back to the fields,” Borenstein said. “They have supply chain issues with parts and equipment.