While gas prices have remained steady for the past month, the recent militant assault on the largest oil refinery in Iraq will most likely spell greater increases in American gas prices.
Spokesperson for AAA Carolinas, Tom Crosby, says that this conflict in the Middle East will take its economic toll on how much we are paying for gas, just not immediately.
“There is no doubt that the problems in Iraq are going to affect gas prices domestically eventually,” says Crosby. “It probably won’t go up overnight, but that pipeline will suddenly start drying up if they cut off the oil supplies, and as a result all oil prices will rise because of the decreased supply.”
When compared to gas prices at this time last year, Crosby says prices will go up, but we cannot know for certain exactly how much just yet.
“Right now, we’re paying a higher price than we did last summer by about 10 to 12 cents a gallon,” says Crosby, “so we can be looking at paying 15 to 20 cents a gallon more than we did last year, but we have to wait and see just how those actions affect the supply of oil.”
Crosby also says that, despite the greater likelihood of rising gas prices, it is not going to stop Americans from travelling this summer.
“We’re having an economic boom. I think people are still going to drive and travel. I don’t think 10 to 20 cents a gallon more is going to cause people to cancel their trip,” says Crosby. “It may curtail some of their discretionary driving, or maybe the distance their going to travel, but I don’t think it is going to have a major impact, unless the prices were to approach somewhere in the $4 a gallon range, and that is not on the horizon at this time.”