A year ago, average national gas prices hovered around $3 per gallon. This month, gas stations across the country displayed the highest average prices ever recorded.
In some areas of the country, average gas prices nearly reached $6.50 per gallon. In the Durham-Chapel Hill area, average gas prices reached a record-high $4.68 on June 11.
Zack Johnson, a rising UNC senior who commutes to Raleigh twice a week for his sales internship at Red Hat, said he spends about $150 on gas each month, despite carpooling with another intern.
Johnson added that, as a student and intern, spending a significant portion of his budget on his gas has hindered him from doing some things he wants to do. He says the price is not ideal but that he can afford it currently.
“At least they’re paying me, so I don’t see it as that big of a deal,” Johnson said.
President Joe Biden has proposed several potential short-term solutions to these high prices, including a three-month federal gas tax holiday, which would decrease nationwide gas prices by 18 cents per gallon.
The Biden administration has also released 30 million barrels of strategic oil reserves, but supply chain expert and N.C. State professor Robert Handfield said the extra gasoline in markets will barely make a dent in the supply deficit America is currently facing.
While increasing domestic production of oil has also been suggested, Handfield said oil output cannot be ramped up quickly.
“You don’t do it by snapping your fingers,” he said. “You have to drill, you have to find the oil. A lot of the shale drillers in the Midwest, they’ve used up a lot of the easy-access oils, so they have to go off after the other stuff, which is more difficult to find.”