Gas is burning a whole in America’s pockets

RaceTrac+in+Downtown+Sugar+Hill

Jade Lewis-Tinsley

RaceTrac in Downtown Sugar Hill

On March 8, 2022, Biden officially declared that the US banned all imports of oil and natural gas from Russia. Considering the actions Russia has made towards Ukraine recently, people should be pleased that they are receiving some sort of consequence. However, for some, this is not the case. As a result of the ban, gas prices in the US have drastically increased, causing a trip to the gas station to dig a pretty deep hole into some people’s pockets. Around here the lowest I’ve seen is $3.89/Regular with the highest being $4.20/Regular. Although that may seem like a lot to us, some places have it worse.

Three states have reached a high of $5+ a gallon: Hawaii ($5.09), Nevada ($5.16), and California ($6.03). California already had high gas prices compared to the rest of the states, but after the ban, Los Angeles County has now reached an average of $6+ per gallon. This is a pretty big jump from the state’s usual average of $3.98 and there is a reason for it. A refinery in Torrance, California experienced an unexpected shortage, causing California and its neighboring states to have a big jump in gas prices. This wasn’t the only refinery to close down though, during the pandemic multiple refineries closed due to financial reasons and the West Coast has started to feel the negative effects.

This has been a misfortune for the whole country; on a national scale gas prices are estimated to create a deficit of $2,000 for citizens with an additional $1,000 for expected inflation rates. Luckily, our representatives are trying to find a solution. Proposals for a monthly stimulus check to help reduce the effects of gas prices are headed towards congress. To start, representatives, Mike Thompson, John Larson, and Lauren Underwood, all democrats, proposed the Gas Rebate Act. Under the bill, both joint and single tax filers would receive $100 each for themselves and their dependents every month for the rest of 2022. The checks will be phased out for single filers earning $80,000+ and joint filers earning $160,000+. However, this bill would only be in effect when the Nation’s gas price average is above $4.

Another proposal came from democratic representatives Ro Khanna and Sheldon Whitehouse. According to CBS News, “The Big Oil Windfall’s Profit Tax would charge a per-barrel tax equal to 50% of the difference between the current price of a barrel of oil and its pre-pandemic average price [2015-2019].” The funds will be used to provide single filers $240 annually and joint filers $360 annually.

Neither of these proposals has been finalized, but the representatives and the lower/middle-class members of the United States are hoping that they will eventually be passed.

Picchi, A. (2022, March 23). Stimulus checks for gas? Here’s what could be coming your way. CBS News. Retrieved March 24, 2022, from https://www.cbsnews.com/news/stimulus-check-gas-prices-coming/

Isidore, C. (2022, March 24). Here’s why gas is $6 a gallon in California, even as prices fall elsewhere. CNN. Retrieved March 24, 2022, from https://www.cnn.com/2022/03/23/business/california-gas-prices-6-dollars/index.html