Oil prices remain around levels we haven’t see since early in the pandemic,  with a barrel of West Texas Crude trading Monday around $82 per barrel. Because of that fuel prices remain high nationwide, with the national average for a gallon of gasoline up 3.8 cents from a week ago, and over 17 cents higher than what we saw a month ago.

Will consumers see any relief anytime soon?

Patrick DeHaan with GasBuddy anticipates the rate of increase may level in the weeks to come, but he does not expect to see the price decrease we typically see in the fall months.

“You get maybe at least several weeks if not months before we see any relief, and that's because the energy crunch overseas looks to get worse before it gets any better.”

And on top of that, there is concern that the price for home heating will rise as well, which could impact the price at the local station. According to a recent government report, propane prices are expected to jump by more than half, natural gas could rise 35% and heating oil prices could shoot up a staggering 60%. And as Andy Frank, president of energy efficiency company Sealed points out those prices could increase more if the winter is especially cold.

“The local utility companies often buy energy in advance in bulk based on what they expect the weather to be. But if the weather is more extreme, if its colder than they expected than they have to buy that energy on the open market which is typically much more expensive.”

If you have a story idea for the PNW Ag Network, call (509) 547-1618, or e-mail gvaagen@cherrycreekmedia.com

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