According to AAA, gas prices have spiked to a national average $3.65 per regular unleaded gallon and $3.90 per diesel gallon as Labor Day weekend kicks off. The prices are about $1 per gallon higher than they were at this time last year.
A little over a week ago, due to continuing conflict in Libya and rising tensions in Syria as demonstrators lash out against President Bashar al-Assad, the Administration of Barack Obama declared an embargo on what little oil imports the U.S. receives from the country. The European Union, on Friday, followed the President’s example by stepping up sanctions against Syria as well. EU officials now report that no oil will be imported from the country, a move that accounts for about 95 percent of all Syrian oil exports, according to the BBC.
United Kingdom Prime Minister David Cameron told the BBC: “We’ve been at the vanguard, arguing for a different approach to Syria. What [Assad] is doing is appalling. He’s had his chance to demonstrate he’s serious about reform and he’s blown it.”
The Financial Times reports that Syria is not nearly as important to the oil industry as Libya; though, the European Union embargo on its oil exports could still have a meaningful impact in supporting prices. Syria produces about 370,000 barrels a day and exports nearly 150,000 per day, according to the International Energy Agency.
As the EU looks to other sources for oil import, raising demand for producers upon which the U.S. depends could cause higher prices at the pump for many Americans.