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Gas prices spike due to rapidly increased demand, low supply

Gas Prices
Posted at 3:27 PM, Jul 01, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-01 18:56:28-04

SALT LAKE CITY — It's no secret that drivers are paying record high prices at the pump, and Utah has some of the highest prices in the country, even as prices fall elsewhere. But what's driving these prices sky high?

"Well, it comes down to supply and demand. In the pandemic we saw supply increase dramatically, just as US energy prices was actually cutting production. We've reduced production and reduced supply in the face of heavy demand.

READ: Here's where to find the cheapest gas across Utah

"It's old fashioned economics—supply and demand—and it's pushed prices much much higher on all kinds of energy," says Ryan Craner, President and CEO of Strategic Planning Group.

But consumers are angry that prices are hampering their ability to travel.

"This is stupid. It makes traveling this summer a little more difficult," says Tanya, a Draper resident, while Ken from Lehi says, "It's terrible . . . I generally travel a lot for work but I just stay home and video conference now."

Representative Steve Lund (R-Dt. 58) is a petroleum engineer serving central Utah and serves on the Public Utilities, Energy, and Technology Committee who says crude oil comes in different forms.

"They take that oil and they produce it for the very biggest and best market they have" Lund explains, which explains why California and elsewhere on the West Coast may be payer less for gasoline.

"Those emissions requirements require these refineries to produce a particular gasoline product that actually works in those locations. . . a much lower emission product than we could buy in the midwest or somewhere else."

Though consumers are furious about gas prices, Lund says it could be much worse.

"We're paying a lot less than a lot of places because it's produced right here in our state . . . We would hope for these things to balance out. We have been through this before and things balanced out before, so we'll hope to see that again," he added.

To find the cheapest gas prices across Utah, check the GasBuddy site for nearby locations.