Happy Birthday, America: On July 4 Gas Prices Will Hit a 6-Year High

Takepart.com

Sat, 28 Jun 2014 12:25:42 PDT

Here’s another reason to take public transportation, ride your bike, or put one foot in front of the other this holiday weekend. If you decide to drive your car, you’ll be ponying up at the gas station—prices are projected to be at their highest level since 2008.

The recent run-up in costs has analysts forecasting a national average of about $3.68 per gallon for regular-grade gasoline. That’s 17 cents more than last year but still below the $4.11 record set six years ago, reports USA Today.

Among other factors, political unrest in the Middle East has been driving retail gas prices up.

“We’re going to see the highest July 4th prices since 2008, and we probably wouldn’t have if it weren’t for Iraq,” Tom Kloza, GasBuddy.com’s chief oil analyst, told CNBC.

“I certainly would not rule out, if something happens near Basra or south of Baghdad, that we would see national prices make a pass at $4,” Kloza said.

If the troubled region’s production isn’t disrupted, potential hurricanes would be the next significant threat to gas prices. “Without hurricanes, the last 100 days of the year, we’ll start talking about how cheap gasoline is,” Kloza noted.

He added that taxes imposed by some states starting July 1 could also contribute to higher costs, but it looks like smoother sailing after the holidays.

Either way, there’s no denying that it’s better for the environment and for us to get out of our smoggy cars and ride our bikes or take the bus or train. Almost 30 percent of the United States’ global-warming gas emissions come from transportation, according to the Union of Concerned Scientists. Each gallon of gas that our cars guzzles not only comes at a higher sticker price; it also emits 24 pounds of carbon dioxide and other gases into the atmosphere. Every year, the average car spews out six tons of carbon dioxide alone—triple the vehicle’s weight. 

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Original article from TakePart