Minnesota sees biggest jump in gas prices in the country

Willmar Radio carried the following story yesterday:

Triple-A reports the average price for a gallon gas in Minnesota has jumped 10 cents in the last week. That’s the biggest increase in any of the 50 states. At three-dollars, 40-cents a gallon Minnesota is still well below the national average of 3-53.

This is all a far cry from late last year when the price of a gallon of gas fell from $3.40 on Nov. 15 to $3.38 on Nov. 29 and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) rushed to praise President Joe Biden:

Since then, gas prices have been heading up again. On Feb. 14, they hit $3.49 a gallon, a new high for the Biden presidency — an increase of 46 percent overall, as Figure 1 shows — and the highest price since August 2014. If you drive a car with a 12 gallon tank, it now costs you $13.20 more to fill it than it did when President Biden was sworn into office. If you drive a car with a 16 gallon tank, it costs you an extra $17.60 to fill it — or one tenth of your ‘Walz Check’.

Figure 1: US Regular All Formulations Gas Price

Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration

President Biden doesn’t set the price of gas, of course, but he didn’t when the DCCC were praising him either. Willmar Radio’s report goes on:

University of St. Thomas professor David Vang says supplies are tight due mostly to the pandemic and demand has rebounded, driving pump prices higher. The price of gas also reflects projections based on the escalating conflict between Russia and Ukraine. Inflation in the American economy is also a factor.

An increase in demand relative to supply is doubtless what lies behind these rising gas prices. Some of that increased demand comes from the increased number of dollars there are. Some of that constriction of supply comes from government energy policy. The President might not control gas prices, but there are things he can do if gas prices are going to fluctuate.