PHILADELPHIA - Motorists have found some relief at the pump in recent weeks - albeit pennies worth - but experts believe gas prices will worsen in the coming months as pandemic-weary travelers plan to hit the road again.
According to AAA, the national average for a gallon of regular gasoline has fluttered down to $4.23. Pennsylvania's average price sits a few cents above that at $4.31, and in neighboring New Jersey and Delaware drivers are paying around $4.
Experts say the ongoing war in Ukraine is partly to blame for the high prices at the pump, but it's not the only reason driver's wallets will continue to get hammered. AAA spokeswoman Jana Tidwell says summer travel and the annual upcoming switch to ‘summer blend’ gasoline will balloon prices again.
"We’re coming up on the summer travel season, we’re coming up on the switch over to summer blended gasoline in mid-April, and that is a more expensive blend of gasoline compared to the winter blend, so that’s going to add about another 15 cents a gallon," Tidwell said.
With Americans still in shock over jaw-dropping, rising gas prices, a few proposals have floated around Congress and elsewhere about offering some relief to drivers.
One proposal comes from Reps. Mike Thompson of California, John Larson of Connecticut, and Lauren Underwood of Illinois.
The congressional lawmakers propose the Gas Rebate Act of 2022 where Americans would get an energy rebate of $100 per month (and $100 for each dependent) for the rest of 2022 in any month where the national average gas prices exceed $4.00 per gallon.
The rebate follows the same phaseout as the most recent Economic Impact Payments (EIPs) where $100 will be given for single filers earning less than $75,000 and phased out to $80,000. The other part includes $100 for joint filers more than $150,000 and phased out at $160,000.
The idea of a gasoline stimulus check is welcome news for drivers like Hannah Johnsoton who pays more than $50 every few days on her 80 mile round-trip trek from Pennsauken to Princeton.
"I’ve been trying to find the cheapest stations not that it’s a huge difference because they’re all pretty pricey, and trying not to go to Lukoil since they’re owned by Russia," Johnston said.