Why Are Gas Prices Rising?05:57
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Gas prices are rising at a record pace. Over the weekend, they crossed the threshold of $4 a gallon in states including California.

AAA says that, nationally, the average price of a gallon of gas is up by 40 cents from a year ago.

That rise is increasing fears of an economic slowdown. William Dunkelberg, the chief economist for the National Federation of Independent Business, a lobbying group, says every dollar more per gallon at the pump means an extra $20 million out of the pockets of consumers.

Prices Rise With U.S. Consumption Down

But even as gas prices are on the rise, gas consumption in the U.S. is at a low.

Ben Brockwell, director of data pricing and info services for the independent Oil Price Information Service, told Here & Now's Sacha Pfeiffer that the rise in the price of gas is connected to a number of developments around the world.

"There's worries about an Arab Spring in Nigeria, Iran has embargoed deliveries of crude to France and to England to protest their embargoes," he said. "Consumption is rising in places like the Middle East, like Asia, and that's offsetting the consumption declines in Europe and the U.S."

Will We Get To $5 A Gallon?

Brockwell said that parts of the country could see $5-a-gallon gas, but he doesn't think the national average will get there.

"We certainly expect the national average to top $4, and it looks like we will break the all-time record of $4.11 set in July of 2008," he said.

Guest:

  • Ben Brockwell, director of data pricing and info services for the independent Oil Price Information Service, OPIS.

This segment aired on February 21, 2012.

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