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California Residents Express Outrage Over $7 Per Gallon Gas Prices

Reuters/Evelyn Hockstein/ShutterStock

Some California residents expressed outrage on social media recently after a now-viral post revealed that gas prices exceeded $7 per gallon at a nearby Chevron station. According to the post, the gas price at the station was $7.29 per gallon.

Social Media User Tried To Compare Cost Of Gallon To Federal Minimum Wage

The now-viral photo was reportedly posted by user Scott Budman. Budman displayed the image with the substantial gas prices.

Source: X/Scott Budman

Budman also compared the controversial cost of a single gallon of gas within the Menlo Park area to the federal minimum wage. The now-viral post generated over 500,000 views and sparked debate online.

Minimum Wage Comparison Criticized, Debunked By Other Social Media Users

Quite a few people responded to Scott Budman’s viral photo with criticism and complaints. Most of the remarks referenced the discrepancy behind his reference to the federal minimum wage.

Source: Pixabay/Nattanan Kanchanaprat

One user on X/Twitter expressed that the “minimum wage in Menlo Park is $16/hour” along with a posted screenshot supporting the claim from the California Department of Industrial Relations. Another user stated that the “minimum wage here is $20 an hour” and noted that “there are a lot of gas stations that are more like $6 a gallon here.”

Gas Stations In Nearby Areas Charge Nearly $5 Per Gallon, According to GasBuddy

According to a price analysis conducted by GasBuddy, the gas prices in surrounding areas is much lower than the $7.29 per gallon price shown in the viral photo. The data shows that the average gas price is approximately $5 per gallon in other areas.

Source: Pixabay/Alexander Fox

Further reports indicate that the pricing for the particular Chevron station in question may have more to do with its convenient location. It is located right near Interstate 280, which makes it a popular pit stop for travelers.

Seasonal Factors, Consumer Behavior Also Contribute To Broader Price Increase

Experts have connected the broader increase in the gas prices at that station to such as factors as consumer behavior and seasonal factors. For instance, a major increase in the gasoline index played a role as well.

Source: Pixabay/Engin Akyurt

The gasoline index increase was noticed within the most recent Consumer Price Index Summary.

Loyal Customers Play An Integral Role In Success Of The Local Chevron Station

Another factor to consider is the loyal customer base that has supported the particular Chevron station in question for years. Quite a few are apparently still interested in supporting the convenient store and gas station even with the high gas prices.

Source: Pixabay

One customer in particular stated that he likes to “support local businesses” that make his life “convenient.” The overall dependability and reliability of this location contributes to its ability to increase its prices without going out of business.

Increase In Food Costs Is More Significant Due To Lower Travel Frequency

Drivers have expressed frustration over the financial impact of these types of increases. However, some do recognize that they do not drive as much now as they may have several years ago.

Source: Pixabay/Steve Buissinne

The increase in food costs since before the pandemic started is undeniably a concern for many people.

More Consumers Have Considered Transitioning To Electric Vehicles To Save Money

An increasing number of consumers have reportedly considered making the switch over to electric vehicles to save money. Vehicles like Tesla have proven to be very reliable and prevent drivers from having to worry about the price of fuel.

Source: Pixabay/Blomst

According to Statista, there were over 386,800 Tesla units delivered within the first quarter of 2024 alone. This was a 20 percent decrease when compared to the fourth quarter of 2023, but still an noteworthy figure.

Many Consumers Still Depend On Gas-Powered Cars, Have No Other Choice

Even though Tesla vehicles and other electric vehicles have increased in popularity, there are still millions of people throughout the country that must stick with gas-powered vehicles. Some depend on gas-powered vehicles out of necessity.

Source: Pixabay/F. Muhammad

Others may simply prefer to stick with gas-powered vehicles instead of transitioning over to the electric alternative. Either way, many consumers feel as if they should not have to be penalized for sticking with their gas-powered vehicles with exorbitant gas prices.

Seasonal Price Bump For Springtime Travel Must Also Be Considered

Another factor that must be considered is the “spring bump” in price that normally happens around the same time every year. With the winter months coming to a close and more people hitting the open road, an increase in the price of fuel is expected throughout the country.

Source: Pixabay/Jan Alexander

As mentioned, this is primarily based on consumer habits and the overall demand for fuel in the months leading into summer. The Consumer Price Index Summary also highlights the higher costs of living that factor in the rising cost of the gasoline index as well.

The Demand For Gasoline Has Apparently Rebounded From COVID-19 Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic put a major strain on gasoline supply since the demand for it plummeted throughout the country. However, as pandemic restricted lifted and people returned to the open road, everything started to shift in the opposite direction.

Source: Pixabay/Fernando Zhiminaicela

Studies have shown that the demand for fuel has rebounded from the pandemic decline. More people have to travel for work, school, and leisure which is translated into gas price increases.

Federal Reserve Believes That Inflation Will Have Long-Term Stability

The Federal Reserve reportedly believes that inflation will retain its long-term stability. However, short-term price pressures within such sectors as energy are creating major financial strains for households nationwide.

Source: Pixabay/Foto-RaBe

The most recent Consumer Price Index acknowledged the highest monthly gain experienced since 2008. Housing costs in addition to fuel expenses are major contributors to that situation.

Experts Predict Gas Prices Should Stabilize Later This Year

There is still a silver lining to acknowledge of the dark cloud of increased gas prices. Experts have predicted that the gas prices should stabilize later this year.

Source: Pixabay/Gerd Altmann

That stabilization is primarily contingent on there not being any significant supply chain disruptions over the next few months. Many consumers would agree that it would be nice to have a lower gas price by late summer, early fall.

Policymakers Will Be Pressured To Ease Burden If Energy Costs Keep Rising

If the energy prices continue to increase, then policymakers will have no choice but to give into the pressure of at least considering creating relief for drivers nationwide. As of right now, consumers are encouraged to focus on budgeting accordingly and minimizing their travel if they cannot afford the steep fuel prices.

Source: Pixabay/Qubes Pictures

With this being an election year, it will be interesting to see what the White House will be able to do about fuel prices and other increasing expenses in the near future.

Biden Advisor Says White House Will ‘Make Sure Gas Prices Remain Affordable’

National Economic Advisor Lael Brainard confirmed that the White House will continue to keep gas prices affordable as summer approaches. Brainard discussed the topic during Semafor’s World Economy Summit.

Source: Wikimedia/Michael Stokes

According to Brainard, “there are of course things that have been done in the past and we’ll continue to very closely monitor.” He added that they will “make sure that gas prices remain affordable for so many American families going into the summer driving season.” 

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Sally Reed

Written by Sally Reed

Sally, a dynamic and viral writer, has taken the literary world by storm with her exceptional storytelling prowess. With an uncanny ability to tap into the collective consciousness of her readers, she crafts narratives that resonate deeply and linger long after the last word is read.

Born with a creative spirit, Sally honed her writing skills from a young age, cultivating a unique voice that blends emotion, wit, and social insight. Her work spans a wide spectrum, from poignant short stories that tug at the heartstrings to thought-provoking essays that challenge conventional thinking.

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