Drive by the big sign at your favorite gas station day after day and you'll notice the price of fuel continuing to crawl up, up, up.
Sadly... there appears to be no end in sight, with America's busiest driving season just weeks away.
GasBuddy.com released it's weekly update on gasoline prices Monday morning, noting that the cost of a gallon of unleaded inched up 1.4 cents in the past week, averaging $2.75 at more than 1,000 Twin Cities surveyed.
That may sound like a drop in the bucket, but the big-picture trend is the real issue of concern. Twin Cities gas prices are now up 18.4 cents higher than they were a month ago. GasBuddy.com petroleum analyst Patrick DeHaan says the size and rate of price increases could escalate with the Trump administration putting an end to U.S.-issued waivers that allow countries across the globe to continue buying oil from Iran. That, in turn, would cut global supply and increase demand.
"Such a loss of oil in the current environment of OPEC cuts and rising demand would only serve to cause gas prices to continue advancing, something that has repeatedly drawn the scorn of President Trump, but with such a policy change and waivers perhaps ending, it could directly cause another round of gas price increases just as the national average reaches its highest level in months and points to a more painful summer at the pump," explains DeHaan. "With such a policy move, if OPEC fails to increase output to offset the likely drop from an end to Iran waivers, expect oil prices to continue to surge. This will cost Americans billions if the Administration enforces the end to waivers."
CNBC reports any country still importing oil from Iran will be subject to U.S. sanctions beginning on May 2.
“President Donald J. Trump has decided not to reissue Significant Reduction Exceptions (SREs) when they expire in early May,” the White House said in a statement. “This decision is intended to bring Iran’s oil exports to zero, denying the regime its principal source of revenue.”
According to Monday's GasBuddy price reports, the cheapest station in Twin Cities is priced at $2.11 per gallon today while the most expensive is $2.89, a difference of 78.0 cents per gallon. The lowest price across greater Minnesota today is $2.48 per gallon while the highest is $2.89, a difference of 41.0 cents per gallon.
In Wisconsin a gallon of unleaded averages $2.82.