TRUST INDEX: Is gas really the most expensive it’s ever been?

The belief that gas is the highest it’s ever been has been on the minds of many Americans as the average price for regular has soared above $4 nationally. But experts who monitor gas and oil prices said it’s not the highest when you account for inflation.

The belief that gas is the highest it’s ever been has been on the minds of many Americans as the average price for regular has soared above $4 nationally. But experts who monitor gas and oil prices said it’s not the highest when you account for inflation.

Patrick De Haan is with Gas Buddy and said it was considerably higher in 2008 during the spike where the cost of regular unleaded nationally was listed at $4.11. “You adjust that 2008 record for inflation and that would be the equivalent today to $5.25 so there is still some room before we really start to feel the pinch as we did in 2008,” said De Haan.

There were also several years where Americans were paying a higher percentage of their income to gas. Joe Krier is with IIWII Financial LLC based in Jacksonville. He said Americans paid a higher percentage of their income for gas during 2008 as well as parts of the 1970s and 1980s. “It’s actually a little bit less (in 2022) and that’s good news and bad news. The good news is it’s not as big a bite on people, the bad news is there’s room for it run up here and I think you can probably expect it to do so,” said Krier.

Krier said the United States has domestic energy production opportunities that are currently not being tapped but there have been some international headlines that could slow the increase of oil and gas prices. “Actually oil rolled over and had its biggest drop, one day drop, in history this afternoon and that was due to Venezuela releasing a couple prisoners and United Arab Emirates possibly increasing. So we’ve got all these headlines that are going to throw things around. At a minimum you can expect volatility,” said Krier.

But he does think the ongoing war in Ukraine will continue to keep prices going up overall in the short term. As of Wednesday afternoon, AAA had the national price of regular unleaded gas listed as $4.25 per gallon.

So, as we put this question through the Trust Index, we conclude it to be not true. Gas is not the most expensive it’s ever been.


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