As world leaders gather in Scotland for the United Nations climate conference, Americans are facing the highest prices for gasoline since 2014.
The national average price of gas rose two cents over the past week to $3.402, according to the American Automobile Association. One month ago, the national average was $3.192. One year ago, it was $2.131.
Silver lining: the two-cent gain was the slowest weekly increase in over a month, according to AAA.
According to new data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA), total domestic gasoline stocks fell by 2 million barrels to 215.7 million barrels last week. Gasoline demand also fell.
“The drop in demand has helped slow price increases, but elevated crude prices continue to put upward market pressure on pump prices, which will likely keep rising as long as oil prices are above $80 per barrel,” AAA said.
Oil prices climbed on Monday. Brent, the international standard rose by more than 1.2 percent to $84.77 a barrel. West Texas Intermediate was up almost 1.4 percent to $84.71. Both are at or near the highest levels since 2014.
The Biden administration has been cajoling Russia and Saudi Arabia into increasing oil production, even as the administration pushes for global policies to reduce fossil fuel production and use. U.S. producers have said that the threat of higher taxes, pressure on banks to reduce lending to oil and gas projects, and plans for stringent climate change policies have reduced investment in domestic production.
On Saturday, Biden urged energy-producing countries at the conference to boost oil production to pressure OPEC+ nations to increase supply and reduce gas prices around the world.
The president acknowledged to reporters the irony of traveling to Glasgow, Scotland, for a climate change summit with world leaders even while asking oil-producing nations to produce more. But he argued that the world’s economy was not ready to abandon oil and natural gas.
“The idea that we’re going to be able to move to renewable energy overnight, and from this moment on not use oil, not use gas, not use hydrogen, is just not rational,” Biden said.