The Fourth of July Runs on Oil and Gas

The Fourth of July is a special time to celebrate America. As we packed into our cars, boarded our flights, turned on the grill and watched fireworks across the country, it is easy to forget what makes this all possible: oil and gas.

According to AAA, a record-setting 43.2 million Americans were expected to travel by car this past holiday weekend, a 2.4 percent increase from last year. Similarly, more than 4 million Americans were expected to fly this weekend—a staggering 11.2 percent increase from last year, and 6.6 percent higher than before the pandemic in 2019.  

With more and more people traveling, all eyes were on gas prices. While high inflation and the relatively new energy crisis in Europe plagued prices last summer, consumers were blessed with significantly lower costs this year. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the average gas price during the week of June 26th was $3.57 a gallon, down 27 percent from the same time last year. The drop in cost is undoubtedly a boon for the millions traveling this past weekend.

Lower prices are a product of a more productive U.S. energy sector, as well as fears regarding the Federal Reserve’s interest rate hikes. Unfortunately, several complicated factors could still affect gas prices. The unstable situation in the Ukraine-Russian war—coupled with fears of a global recession—could push prices higher next year. To avoid that scenario, the U.S. must prioritize our own domestic energy supply above all else, so that Americans are insulated from external geopolitical forces. Similarly, focusing on our supply levels will allow the U.S. to continue exporting liquid natural gas to our allies around the globe.

As we reflect our on great nation’s independence 247 years later, let us also be thankful for the abundant resources we have under our feet that make our lives possible.

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