New Mexicans experience highest gas prices since 2014; what’s the solution?

It’s a problem many New Mexicans are noticing when they pull up to the pump. “It’s pretty noticeable. You can feel it. Inflation, in general, is kind of a scary thing, I suppose,” said Will Schaefer, while he was pumping up his gas. The price of gas has gone up significantly since last year. In the Land of Enchantment according to AAA, the average price per gallon is $3.30. “The average price of gas across the United States is $3.41 a gallon, and that’s an increase of about 61% over where it was this time last year,” said Reilly White, University of New Mexico associate professor of finance. So how did we get to this point? White explains. “First, gas prices in the U.S. right now are at a seven-year high. The economy has reopened, and Americans have begun driving more. Thirdly, supply issues have been persistent throughout this year. So right now, although oil has come back and our production has come back in a lot of ways, it is not where it was prior to the pandemic,” White said. But President Joe Biden Tuesday announced a plan to try and lower prices at the pump by releasing 50 million barrels from the U.S.’s strategic petroleum reserve. “Makes sense to do, I suppose, if inflation is going to keep rising,” Schaefer said. White said the tactic will have a very moderate effect on prices and only in the short term. “It’s not going to bring us back down to levels of gas prices that we’ve seen historically,” White said.So, what is the solution to these high gas prices? “The long-term solutions are going to be supply-demand and the question of how much production are we going to have versus our actual demand for those things? Those are the numbers that matter at the end of the day,” White said. White said the high prices we are seeing are a double-edged sword for New Mexicans. While it’s hitting pocketbooks, the soaring prices of gas is good for the state since New Mexico is third in oil production in the United States.