Memorial Day Travel Alert: Gas Price Fluctuations Expected

Millions of Americans head to parks, beaches, and other vacation spots around Memorial Day weekend, which for many is the official beginning of the summer travel season.

This summer is no different: according to AAA, about 44 million individuals plan to take a vacation this Memorial Day, the most since 2005. Particularly, road trips are predicted to break records, which can result in increased petrol prices.

Nor is there any sense of relief: The TSA inspected just under 2.9 million travelers on Thursday, making it the second-busiest travel day in its history. It is anticipated to be much busy on Friday.

“By strategically releasing this reserve in between Memorial Day and July 4th, we are ensuring sufficient supply flows to the tri-state and northeast at a time hardworking Americans need it the most,” Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm stated.

However, just as a US president cannot be fully held accountable for the spike in oil prices, so can he or she typically receive all the credit for stabilizing prices.

Experts in the oil market predicted that the actual effects of this strategic release would be minimal, even if Congress had already ordered the sale earlier this year.

“This is a non-starter and won’t do much to lower gas prices,” GasBuddy’s Patrick DeHaan stated. “But it will help get rid of a reserve that wasn’t really practical or usable.”

A million barrels of gas sold strategically may seem like a lot, but the US used almost nine million barrels of gasoline every day in 2018, according to the US Energy Information Administration.

Thus, the anticipated release of the Biden administration, which is scheduled for the upcoming weeks, corresponds to fewer than three hours of demand across the country.

Congress gave the administration instructions to reduce and shut down the NSGR, which was established as part of then-President Obama’s reaction to Superstorm Sandy, even though the Biden administration may have scheduled the sale from the government-owned oil supply to fall during the popular holiday travel season.

Read Also: Which Retail Stores Are Open on Memorial Day 2024? Store Hours for Target, Home Depot, IKEA

The US Department of Energy claims that the reserve was established after the hurricane in 2012 severely damaged oil refineries in the Northeast, resulting in weeks of fuel shortages at certain petrol stations. Barrels of gasoline are presently kept in New York and Maine by the reserve.

During his presidency, Biden has drawn from more US-owned oil reserves. Following Russia’s 2022 invasion of Ukraine, Biden authorized the release of 180 million barrels of oil in cooperation with US partners abroad in an effort to control the rise in oil prices.

The President claimed at the time that it would serve as a “wartime bridge” when oil production in the US and around the world increased following the Covid-19 pandemic.

Following a steep increase at the end of winter, gas prices have stayed stable in recent weeks. According to AAA, the national average price for normal petrol on Thursday was $3.61, which is somewhat higher than the average since 2020.

At $3.54 per gallon, the price at the pump is currently marginally higher than it was just before Memorial Day of last year, but it is still much lower than it was two years ago, when the national average was above $4.50.

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