US average gas prices exceed $3 per gallon for the first time since late 2014

The U.S. Energy Information Administration reports that disruptions to Colonial Pipeline operations prompted an increase in the average U.S. retail price for regular-grade gasoline (retail gasoline price) to $3.03 per gallon (gal) on May 17, the first time retail gasoline prices averaged more than $3.00/gal since October 27, 2014.

The pipeline hack is a good reminder that pipelines, and the fossil fuels they carry, are important. Public policies that reduce the number of pipelines in our country make our fuel system more susceptible to price spikes and supply shortages.

While gas prices are the highest they have been since the Obama administration, it is probably unfair to lay the blame at the feet of President Biden at this time because it would have been unfair to blame President Trump if this hack had happened under his administration.

What truly matters is where we go from here. Will public policy on infrastructure address the vulnerability of our supply chains to cyber attacks, or will President Biden and Congress pretend that everything besides infrastructure is infrastructure? The Trump administration would likely have been more inclined to shore up cybersecurity on pipelines, whereas the Biden administration has delayed pipelines and revoked permits.