No one likes feeling the squeeze at the pump. We all roll our eyes the moment we pull into the gas station to see another 10-cent hike in fuel prices. “Great, an extra $10 down the drain just to get to work. When will it ever end?” becomes our collective rallying cry. Along with fuel prices, groceries, and every other commodity on the market, gas prices continue to surge, creating a drag on the economy. Even with modern machinery making the green transition, gasoline will continue to be the lifeblood of America’s economic engine. Goods must be shipped from the factory to every store in communities nationwide. Workers rely on combustion-drive transportation to and from work. Even bus fare and shipping costs factor in the arbitrary price of a barrel of oil in delivering goods to consumers. No matter how we might try to spin the nozzle, fuel prices impact everything. So, what factors will continue to impact gas prices in 2024?

Factors to Consider When Looking at Gas Prices in 2024

gas prices 2024

Like with any other year, it all comes down to supply and demand when forecasting gas prices in 2024. The root causes of driving fuel prices up the previous two years were measures beyond anyone’s control. The 2022 invasion of Ukraine sent gas prices skyrocketing. Fears of an instantaneous supply shock by the cutoff of Russian oil stoked fears of rapidly dwindling stockpiles. We almost immediately felt the pump fatigue as Russian forces advanced across Eastern Europe. No one could fathom a worse time for a fuel crisis as pump-fatigued motorists were still feeling the pangs of higher prices worldwide due to runaway inflation. With global pressures mounting, the typical American motorist didn’t see any relief in 2023 either. So, what world events will shape fuel prices in 2024? Unfortunately, the war in Ukraine rages on with no end in sight. As the old saying goes, time heals all wounds. The silver lining of the wanton carnage in Europe is the continued reassurance of ample fuel supplies at the pump. Despite tenuous global geopolitics, our reserves have remained intact with little to no increase in our average fill-ups.

How Will Events in the Middle East Affect Fuel Prices

Israel Gaza

Following the United State’s firm resolution to support Israel in the nascent stages of the Yom Kippur War in 1973, OPEC retaliated by refusing to sell any oil to America. As you might imagine, this deliberate closing of the Middle East’s oil rich spigot led to a domestic shortage at home. Your parents probably still drone on by the great gas shortage of the 1970s. It became their generation’s hardship tale of “walking 15 miles both ways in the pouring snow to school.” Images of long gas lines remain seared into their retinas the years following crisis. A little dramatic? Yes, but Americans have long since been spoiled by the conveniences of low gas prices. Those were the days. Following the surprise terrorist attacks of Hamas in October, millions of Americans began to worry if a similar fiasco could be on the way. Economic forecasters don’t foresee similar retaliatory actions by the region’s oil producing powers. For one, the conflict doesn’t appear likely to draw in other oil producing nations, as it did with the 1973 war. Assuaging the fears is the proactive stance of US policymakers who have since cozied up to Saudi Arabia by offering certain regional security guarantees.

Gas Prices in the Coming Year

Fortunately, economic forecasters have some good news for the year ahead. Despite uncertain global conditions, most fuel experts agree that we can expect lower fuel prices than the previous two years. With any luck, we might see the average price of a gallon of gas to drop below $3.40. This normalization of fuel prices will bode well for every sector of the economy. Motorists should also expect a dip in prices during the winter months when demand is at its lowest. With lower prices comes a few caveats. West coast drivers can still expect higher prices, with an unfathomable $6 per gallon price tag possible later this year. As with any other holiday, Memorial Day is on tap to be the priciest of the year with the national average expected to eclipse the $4 mark.

Expecting the Unexpected

Gas prices will always be like the weather – no one controls them. Long-term forecasting does little to alleviate our current fuel worries either. There’s not much the average person can do to impact pricing other than making a conscious attempt to drive less to help drive down the demand, but that would take a group effort. As we mentioned before, fuel prices can be a catalyst for the economy. Higher prices mean lower checking accounts for the average American worker, hindering our consumer-based economy. But what happens if we experience a gas shortage similar to the 1970s? It’s not unthinkable. Continued Russian aggression on other NATO nations could result in protracted warfare, draining our energy forces as both alliances wage a war of attrition. Growing Middle Eastern escalations could cause our oil producing partners to cut off our supplies if we don’t harden our stance on Israel. So much tension remains thick in the air as we ponder global strained relations in the year ahead.

Now is the time to take control of your family’s safety. Yes, high gas prices will always be a thorn in our sides, but there are more pressing matters at hand. High gas prices and uncertain economic times could be only the beginning of domestic unrest. What if high gas prices in 2024 have a domino effect? How would the average American driver react to long fuel lines today? We already know how nasty millions of Americans can be when prompted to wear a mask during the pandemic. Will they take a similar approach to such a minor inconvenience as waiting in line for gas? You don’t have to look long on TikTok to see consumers going berserks or “Full Karen” on managers for incorrect fast food orders. Rushes on gasoline could cause similar chaos.

Protecting Your Family During Uncertain Times

Mississippi Tornado

If civil unrests from shortages of gasoline take hold across America, filling up your tank will likely be the least of your concerns. It doesn’t take much for opportunistic rioters and looters to wreak havoc at the slightest hint of national instability. Dire times require measured steps of preparation, not a knee-jerk reaction from the hoards of depraved humanity. By investing in a panelized safe room kit from U.S. Safe Room, you can hedge your bets against chaos and mass hysteria by protecting your family from a crazed world. Our panelized safe rooms can be discreetly delivered and installed in any home office, bedroom or closest with no disturbance to the foundation. Panelized safe rooms costs a fraction of standard above-ground or below ground bunkers. They also offer year around protection from other events out of our control, including natural disasters and home invasions.