Motorists across the United States grapple with gasoline prices hitting new highs almost daily, but the pain is not evenly distributed across the country. Take, for example, a handful of locations where a gallon of regular fuel now costs the same as the $7.25 federal minimum wage.
It’s a painful threshold that pump prices have reached at nine stations — all in California, according to oil and gas price expert Patrick De Haan of GasBuddy. Sure, California’s minimum wage is much higher than the federal minimum wage, with workers in the state earning at least $14 an hour, but paying $7.25 a gallon or more still takes a big chunk of the typical salary.
On average, California drivers pay more for gas than drivers in any other state, according to the AAA. It’s partly because taxes are higher to pay for infrastructure and other costs, but there’s also something that economist Severin Bornstein of the University of California, Berkeley calls “Surcharge for mysterious petrolor a price gap that cannot be explained entirely by fees or other factors.
Gas prices remain at record levels as Americans head into Memorial Day weekend, the unofficial start of summer, when millions of people head out on vacation or visit family and friends. But despite rising fuel prices, most drivers are still full, with AAA expecting 39 million people to travel more than 50 miles from their homes on the weekend — a jump of about 8% from the previous year, when gas was about $3. An average AAA gallon.
Here are the service stations in California that charge at least $7.25, according to GasBuddy:
- Chevron at 901 Alameda Avenue in Los Angeles: $7.83 a gallon
- Chevron at 51557 US-395 at Lee Vining: $7.39 a gallon
- Chevron at 712 North CA-127 in Shoshone: $7.39 a gallon
- Shell at 453 Main Street, Bridgeport: $7.39 a gallon
- Valero at 377 Main Street in Bridgeport: $7.35 a gallon
- Mobil at 8489 Beverly Blvd. In Los Angeles: $7.29 a gallon
- Shell 51424 US-395 at Lee Vining: $7.29 a gallon
- Mobil at 22 Vista Point Drive in Lee Vining: $7.29 a gallon
- Chevron at 3600 Alameda Drive in Menlo Park: $7.25 a gallon
Drivers spend thousands more on gas
Americans are increasingly pessimistic about the economy, spurred on by concerns about the highest rate of inflation in 40 years and the stock market, which has fallen on fears of a recession,In a new CBS News poll. As motorists continue to fill up on the pump, they cut back on spending in other areas — such as eating out — to compensate.
The impact of rising gas prices is growing: The typical household now spends $4,800 on gas at an annual rate, compared to $2,800 a year ago,To Wall Street analyst Ed Yardeni.
Unfortunately, analysts don’t expect gas prices to subside anytime soon. The national average could jump to $6.20 a gallon by August — above the current price of $4.60 a gallon,To JPMorgan. And Bornstein from Berkeley recently CBS News is not expecting $2 or $3 a gallon of gas anytime soon.
He noted that crude oil prices jumped a year ago, and that global demand for fossil fuels is rising even as supply is declining.
“Even beforeWe were seeing delayed oil production. Producers in the US say they are having a hard time getting workers to go back to the oil fields, Bornstein said, they are having supply chain problems with parts and equipment.