Wisconsin Public Radio

Wisconsin Gas Prices Dropping

Analysts expect further price declines, but limited supply leaves future unclear.

By , Wisconsin Public Radio - Jul 8th, 2022 06:19 pm
Mobil station at 812 S. Layton Blvd. Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

Mobil station at 812 S. Layton Blvd. Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

Gas prices are falling across the state, but drivers are still stretching their budgets to fill their tanks.

According to AAA, regular gas across the state Friday averaged about $4.52 per gallon — roughly 40 cents less than a month ago. Still, the cost is nearly 52 percent higher than this time last year.

As he filled his tank at a gas station near his home in Milwaukee, Nick Jones said the surging prices this year have hit hard, but the recent drop has provided some relief.

“It feels like a burden off of me,” he said, “I hope it goes much lower, but we’ve got to deal with what we’ve got to deal with during these times of crisis.”

Midwest drivers like Jones have reason to be hopeful, though, said Patrick De Haan, the head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy. De Haan said the cost of gas in the Midwest surged earlier this year, especially in May, because of limited supply in the Great Lakes area.

“Our prices have more room to drop, because we’re already higher than everyone else,” he said. “So in the last month, no one has seen bigger drops than states in the Midwest, because we’ve seen an improvement in that situation.”

De Haan predicts the average price of gas in Wisconsin will drop another 10 to 25 cents per gallon over the next week or two — though not evenly across the state. After that, he said the future is “as clear as mud.”

The COVID-19 pandemic has drastically reduced oil production in the U.S. and caused permanent refinery shutdowns, he said. That has diminished supply, leaving little room for error.

“If something does happen, like a hurricane or an unexpected refinery shutdown, we have less ability to be able to withstand those unexpected outages, because there’s less spare capacity,” he said.

Peter Carstensen of the University of Wisconsin-Madison Law School, who specializes in antitrust law and energy law, predicts the situation will improve but change will be slow.

“My expectation is prices are going to stabilize in a downward trend,” he said. “It’s not going to be a huge drop, but it’s going to continue to go down.”

Carstensen said that’s because domestic production is increasing and drivers will likely decrease their miles, slowing demand. Despite that, he said other problems will keep costs high.

“The capacity to do things inexpensively is just not there,” he said. According to Carstensen, supply chain issues, the need for new wells, limited refinery capacity and the crisis in Ukraine will be roadblocks to easing the burden on drivers.

Listen to the WPR report here.

After hitting record highs this spring, gas prices fall in Wisconsin was originally published by Wisconsin Public Radio.

One thought on “Wisconsin Gas Prices Dropping”

  1. NieWiederKrieg says:

    Yes, the price of gasoline is dropping… Unfortunately, Joe Biden has increased the amount of ethanol that refiners are now adding to our gasoline… from 10% to 15%.

    Adding more ethanol to gasoline lowers the fuel efficiency of your vehicle’s engine… If you were getting 25 mile per gallon of gasoline, you are now getting only 20 miles per gallon… which means that you have to fill your gas tank more often… You’re actually paying more for gas because your miles per gallon have dropped… And your engine burns hotter with the additional ethanol, which means more wear and tear on your engine.

    Wouldn’t it be easier if we just elected a President who’s committed to peace and prosperity instead electing a genocidal maniac like Joe Biden?


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