The average price for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline in the Palmetto State currently clocks in at $3.727 per gallon. Premium costs $4.452 per gallon while a gallon of diesel will set you back by $4.858.
For the regular grade petrol, that’s an 8.7 percent decline from March 11, 2022 – when per gallon prices surged to $4.082 amid the escalating conflict in eastern Europe.
Driving the recent downward trend? According to AAA, dozens of oil-producing nations have released millions of barrels of crude oil from their emergency stockpiles. Last week, the 31 members of the International Energy Agency’s (IEA) announced their intention to release 120 million barrels from their stockpiles. That announcement came on the heels of the United States’ decision to tap into its Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) to the tune of 60 million barrels over the next two months.
While there has been some easing of the pain at the pump, gas prices remain significantly elevated from a year ago – when the average price for a gallon of regular unleaded was $2.579. In other words, prices are 44.5 percent higher today than they were last year – even after the recent dip.
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.
As I often remind readers, South Carolina is currently in the fifth year of a six-year gasoline tax increase that “Republican” state lawmakers promised would “fix our roads.” This levy will eventually wind up costing motorists 28.74 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 GOP 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.
My news outlet has also pointed out that residents of the Palmetto State – while paying lower per gallon prices than citizens in other states – also make less than people in other states. As a result, they have historically paid a disproportionately high percentage of their income on fuel costs.
I have consistently argued that the only energy policy that matters 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.
Given the current inflationary climate, I have called on our “leaders ” to abandon the increasingly destructive corporate “wokeism” that is eroding our energy independence – shutting down vital energy arteries and leaving massive reserves of oil and gas untapped.
Closer to home, I will continue to call on politicians to stop squeezing middle- and low-income earners with regressive gas tax hikes and focus on better prioritizing infrastructure needs.
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, and unlike some leaders in the S.C. General Assembly, he knows how to tie a Windsor knot.
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