NEW YORK — Many continue to feel the squeeze at the pump as gas prices hit record levels, once again.
Demand remains high despite rising prices, and the few options the government has on the table offer meager savings, CBS2’s Christina Fan reported.
Gas prices approaching the Holland Tunnel are hard to stomach.
“This is the most expensive we’ve seen,” one driver said.
$5.09 for a gallon of regular. Almost $6.50 for diesel. Just mentioning the price makes drivers angry.
“Every day it’s difference price. Every day it just is getting higher and higher,” said Joseph Mahchi of Bayonne.
The average cost for a gallon of regular in New Jersey is up 23 cents compared to a week ago, and nearly $2 compared to a year ago. The math makes people shudder.
“I have big truck. Right now, $130. But before, it’s $100 or $89,” another driver said.
Despite the eye-popping prices, analysts say demand continues to outpace supply. Whatever the pain point is, people haven’t reached it yet.
But there are a few things the government can do to ease the burden.
“You have to do something about it and very, very soon. People are getting hurt,” Mahchi said.
Denton Cinquegrana with Oil Price Information Service said possible ideas include a federal gas tax holiday or changing the blend of gasoline we use in the summer to a cheaper winter grade. But the options look unlikely and the difference would be pennies on the dollar.
“We’re going to have to consume less so supply can actually catch up and things can normalize,” Cinquegrana said.
Experts say it may take a while for us to get there, and even when demand is expected to level off mid-summer, that’s when hurricane season typically starts, possibly disrupting refineries.
Some families are already starting to cut back in anticipation.
“I try not to use my car as much, anymore. Unless it’s just for work,” said Eddie Santos.
“I’m definitely more strategic in terms of what I decide to do, if I have to drive into the city,” Anna Voorhees said.
Experts say many people haven’t changed their travel patterns or plans because of wage inflation and confidence in the jobs market.