Recent reports indicate that some Americans may be paying as much as $5 per gallon of gasoline by the time the warm-weather driving season arrives.
According to AAA, the average national cost per gallon of unleaded gasoline was $3.38 as of Tuesday, nearly 30 cents higher than it was one year ago and only 72 cents below the highest national average in July 2008.
According to a report by CNN, experts say there are a variety of reasons that Americans can expect to pay more at the pump in coming months. According to the report, modest economic recovery will likely contribute to rising fuel prices as demand increases, and foreign conflicts will also play a role.
The possibility of a conflict with Iran and that country’s threat to close the Strait of Hormuz has driven fuel prices up in recent weeks. In 2011, 17 million barrels of oil per day passed through the strait. If it is blocked, about 20 percent of global oil trade could be halted and cause fuel prices to rise.
Experts say that the fuel price increases that many Americans noticed due to Libya’s civil war last year would pale in comparison to the price spikes that would result from an Iranian conflict.