Gas prices hit record highs

Gas prices have increased over 30% in California in the past year, according to the United States Energy Information Administration. Throughout the 1990s until the early 2000s, gas remained at a stable price. However, in 2006, the cost of gas began rising rapidly, and now, 15 years later, the prices are higher than ever.

Higher prices can be attributed to many factors including climate change, which is caused by greenhouse gas emissions. Gasoline powered transportation vehicles are the main contributor to these emissions, according to the United States Environmental Protection Agency.

In order to motivate citizens to purchase electric cars, which cause significantly less CO2 emissions than gas powered cars, many governments have deliberately facilitated the rise of gas prices in an attempt to reduce global emissions. So far, these regulations have caused global emissions to drop from 36 billion metric tons of CO2 produced to 34 billion metric tons of CO2 produced from 2019 to 2020. However, in 2021, they have risen back up to 36 billion metric tons, according to the United States Environmental Protection Agency. The rise being seen in greenhouse emissions this year is most likely due to travel and businesses opening back up after the lowering COVID-19 restrictions.

Another major contributing factor is China, who has been buying record amounts of gasoline to prepare for this winter season, as coal power is not plentiful enough to provide for their entire population. China’s mass spending spree is causing shortages and price spikes all throughout Europe and Asia, according to Bloomberg News, and massive Chinese energy companies, such as Sinopec Corp and China National Offshore Oil Company, are in talks to export millions of pounds of gas out from major United States gas exporters such as Cheniere Energy and Venture Global, and if the plans go through, gas prices will most likely further increase.