Gas prices around the country have reached a 7-year high seen on Oct.18, with the nation’s unleaded price average sitting at $3.39, the plus price at $3.74 and premium at $4.01, according to the American Automobile Association.


This recent surge of these prices, however, has not kept drivers from filling up their tanks as the demand for gas continues to increase.


One explanation for the rise of gas prices is the high demand for gas with a supply that doesn’t match.


“With the U.S. economy slowly recovering from the depths of the pandemic, demand for gas is robust, but the supply is tight,” said Andrew Gross, AAA spokesperson. “We haven’t seen prices this high since September of 2014.”


The main two factors affecting the pricing of gasoline are crude oil and taxes, according to the Exxon website.
“Crude oil is by far the largest factor in the price of a gallon of gasoline,” Exxon said. “The U.S. does not produce enough crude oil to meet our country’s demands, therefore oil companies like ExxonMobil have to purchase crude oil – at market prices – to produce gasoline and other products.”


Some students express how the increase in gas prices has affected how much they pay.


Freshman Diondrea Walker said, “It used to take $25 to fill up and now it’s almost $40.”
Others explain how this recent surge hinders them from seeing their family.


Theatre major Cheyenne McAllister said, “High gas prices have affected me by actually making me nervous to look at gas prices. It isn’t just, ‘Oh I don’t want to have to pay for gas;’ it’s, ‘I don’t want to have to pay that much for gas.’ My mom just recently moved and so now I really don’t have the gas money to go see her.”


Some states like California, Hawaii and Idaho hold higher prices for gas than others. TJC economics professor Brandon
Campbell explains the causation of the price variance.


“Cost differences by area will depend on the elasticity of demand for gas in certain areas (more elastic, the lower the price),” Campbell said. “The cost to transport gasoline to some areas is more expensive than others, and some states have gas taxes that raise the price as well, like California.”


A clear timeframe for price changes seems to not arrive in the near future.


At a CNN town hall meeting on Oct. 21, President Joe Biden said, “I don’t see anything that’s going to happen in the meantime that’s going to significantly reduce gas prices. My guess is, you’ll start to see gas prices come down going into next year, 2022. I must tell you, I don’t have a near-term answer.”


Driving is the most prominent mode of transportation in the U.S. today. To help save money on gas, there are other ways to get to the desired destination. Carpooling, walking, biking and using public transportation are all cost-efficient ways to save money, especially as a college student.


Tyler Transit offers free rides on their express shuttle for TJC and UT Tyler students and staff. A valid student or employee ID must be shown in order to ride. For more information, visit cityoftyler.org.