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Gas prices rise due to demand and pandemic recovery

The national price average is currently at $2.96
Posted at 6:57 PM, May 11, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-11 19:57:23-04

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — Gas prices are on the rise and officials say it's due to a number of reasons. Pandemic recovery, the economy and driving season are all contributing to the almost $3 a gallon.

"What we have going on right now is a recovery and we’re moving into a driving season, so these current movements have been largely driven by demand and I think what we’re going to see over the summer is some continuing strengthening of prices," said Chris Decker, Professor of Economics at UNO.

Decker said that while rising prices during this time of year and after the pandemic are normal, what's not normal is how steep the prices have increased.

"The increase is unusual but that’s more due to the fact that in May 2020, gasoline prices were very, very, very low. So what we’re experiencing now is kind of a confluence of a variety of events; increase in demand, and some unusual supply disruptions and those two pressures will kind of keep prices elevated for a while at least through most of the summer," Decker said.

According to AAA, the national price average of gas in May 2020 was $1.80, now it's $2.96 and can continue rising throughout the summer.

The hack of the Colonial Pipeline is affecting supply of gas but more so on the east coast. Here in the Midwest, supply is coming in steadily. COO of Mega Saver, Lola Khalikova says while there are some concerns, people shouldn't worry.

"I don’t think we should be going to the extent of stockpiling the gas, we don’t see any shortages right now, there are a couple day of delays in our orders once we place the order there are a couple of delays but there’s no shortages, we received everything we order," Khalikova said.

Decker says stockpiling gs could actually result in exactly what people are trying to prepare for when they hoard gas.

"One of the worst things you can do regarding news events regarding shortages is engage in panic buying. We saw that a lot last year with things like toilet paper and sanitizer. That will lead to a self-fulfilling prophecy you’ll see those consequences as a result of elevated demand as people stockpile," Decker said.

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