Banaian; Gas Prices Expected to Rise into the Summer
Gas prices have stabilized a bit in the last couple of weeks with most pumps at $3.89 to $3.94 today. St. Cloud State Economist and Dean School of Public Affairs, King Banaian joined me on WJON today. Banaian expects gas prices to be on the slow increase, barring anything unforeseen, through spring into the summer months. He says unleaded gas at $4.30 a gallon at some point this summer is likely the peak. Banaian doesn't expect to see gas locally make it to $4.50.
Banaian says the reason for the gas price increase is largely based on demand. He says Presidential policies can influence the supply side of oil but the demand to travel coming out of the pandemic has led to many people taking vacations. Banaian doesn't expect gas prices at $4 dollars a gallon or more to cause people to postpone their travel plans. He says long distance road trips could be impacted by the increased gas prices but trips to the lake shouldn't be affected by the gas price for most Minnesotans. Banaian says many people may still have savings from the COVID relief packages to draw from.
Banaian says the oil the United States imported from Russia accounted for only about 3% of their total daily usage and the U.S. is the largest producer of oil in the world. He says if the Biden administration were to decide today to put the Keystone Pipeline back online it would take years to make a significant impact on the country's oil supply and gas prices.
If you'd like to listen to my full conversation with King Banaian it is available below.