Pain at the pump has begun to ease. If you pull up to any gas station in Bakersfield, you may find yourself spending an average of $6.14 for a regular gallon of unleaded gas. According to Triple A, that’s a 15 cent drop from a week ago. Crude oil accounts for 60 percent of what you pay when you fill up your vehicle.
“The oil industry is most like the stock market,” Doug Shupe, spokesperson for AAA SoCal said. “It does not like volatility, and right now, there’s a lot of volatility.”
That volatility Shupe is talking about is inflation reaching a 40-year high of 9.1 percent compared to June of last year.
The dollar value, like a stock, keeps changing, leading Americans to spend less overall. including on gas.
“Not only are there economic fears, [but] people cutting back a little bit, not spending as much on gasoline, as what was previously projected–and that’s what is putting the pressure on those crude oil prices,” Shupe said.
While global supply of gas has been an ongoing issue, the U.S. energy information administration estimates domestic crude oil production averaged 11.6 million barrels per day, which is point-6 million less barrels per day, compared to last year. The more supply there is the more it can help continuing to lower the gas price, according to Spokesperson for the Western States Petroleum Association Kevin Slagle.
“Kern County accounts for 75 percent of the crude oil produced in the state, and what we produce in the state is used in the state,” Slagle said. “So increasing production in the valley, or maximizing what is available to them, we could be doing more if we had more permits, but we are doing what we can right now.”
It’s not just oil production policies that could continue to make those prices fluctuate, but consumer demand.
“We know that the demand will not significantly decrease after August, when the fall months begin and the kids go back to school, and those family summer road trips are over,” Shupe said.