What a difference a month makes when it comes to gasoline prices, people. Oh … and the worst is probably yet to come, presaging yet another significant drain on the incomes of Americans (especially those who reside in states with historically low income levels like South Carolina).
According to the latest data from AAA, the average price for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline in the Palmetto State currently clocks in at $3.747 per gallon. Premium will run you $4.36 per gallon while diesel will set you back $4.354 per gallon.
As I am writing this article, my wife texted me to let me know she filled up our massive Transit 350 XLT for $3.799 per gallon.
“Gas prices are out of control,” she said.
Indeed they are … and they are about to get even worse as the escalating conflict in eastern Europe puts additional pressure on the global crude oil market.
“Pump prices will likely continue to rise as crude prices continue to climb,” a release from AAA noted.
The base unleaded price in South Carolina has climbed by $0.575 per gallon over the last month – an 18.1 percent increase. It is now up by $1.24 per gallon over the past year – a 49.5 percent increase. The Palmetto State – which typically has some of the lowest gas prices in America (although not as a percentage of its citizens’ income) – is rapidly losing its competitiveness on this front, ranking No. 21 nationally in terms of low prices.
Over the last week, South Carolina was home to the seventh-highest gas price spike of any state, according to AAA.
Nationally, the per gallon price for regular unleaded is $3.922 with premium clocking in at $4.477 and diesel at $4.41.
For those of you keeping score at home, South Carolina’s record high for a gallon of regular unleaded – $4.121 – was recorded on September 15, 2008.
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At this point, I would remind readers South Carolina is currently in the fifth year of a six-year gasoline tax increase that state lawmakers promised would “fix our roads.” Eventually this levy will wind up costing motorists 28.75 cents per gallon – an increase of 71.6 percent above its former level. All told, the tax hike was projected to deprive taxpayers of $1.8 billion over its first five years of implementation and around $600 million each and every year thereafter – but recent data indicates the levy is exceeding collection estimates.
I opposed this tax hike – and exposed the smoke-and-mirrors machinations of “Republican” politicians who could have blocked it (but didn’t). Furthermore, I have consistently opposed the ongoing lack of prioritization of GOP “leaders” when it comes to infrastructure. Rather than focusing on critical projects, they have blown hundreds of millions on interchanges to nowhere, unnecessary big-ticket projects and all manner of political pork.
Not to mention crony capitalist projects with zero broader public benefit …
What to do? Well for starters, our “leaders” need to stop selling us out to wealthy corporate interests and start focusing on our needs for a change – whether that’s in terms of taxes or in terms of the infrastructure projects they approve.
Given the current inflationary climate, the system simply cannot sustain any further squeezing of low- and middle-income earners … it just can’t.
Beyond that, these “leaders” must abandon the increasingly destructive corporate “wokeism” that continues eroding our energy independence – shutting down vital energy arteries and leaving massive reserves of oil and gas untapped.
As I have often said, the best energy policy a nation can adopt is one that keeps the lights on and our motors running at the lowest possible cost to the consumer … cognizant of the long-term need to transition to renewable sources but making sure we don’t bankrupt ourselves in the process.
At every level – and on literally every fast-moving front of this debate – our elected officials are failing us …
ABOUT THE AUTHOR …
Will Folks is the founding editor of the news outlet you are currently reading. Prior to founding FITSNews, he served as press secretary to the governor of South Carolina. He lives in the Midlands region of the state with his wife and seven children. Oh, he also has LOTS of hats … but has given them up for Lent this year.
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