Gas Prices Show Signs of Relief Across the U.S.

by Taylor Cunningham

Drivers are finally getting some relief at the pump as gas prices continue to trend downwards. Earlier this month, the national average broke records when it hit $4.09 a gallon, and it continued to rise until it hit $4.33 on March 11. As of Saturday, the number had finally dropped to $4.262. And experts expect to see the number dip even lower in the coming days, thanks to efforts by state lawmakers.

At a Glance

  • After reaching record-breaking prices, gas prices are finally beginning to drop.
  • The relief comes as lawmakers make moves to cut gas taxes across the nation.
  • Michigan, Georgia, and Maryland were among the states that paused gas taxes on Friday.
  • Lawmakers are also asking Congress to offer more relief by suspending the federal 18.4-cents-a-gallon tax through 2022.

State Lawmakers Help to Lower Gas Prices by Offer Tax Relief to Drivers

Unfortunately, lowering fuel costs aren’t due to higher oil supplies or stronger foreign relations. Instead, the relief comes as state lawmakers work to pause gas taxes around the country. On Friday, a handful of governors began to make moves to help offset commuting costs.

That day, Michigan’s Gretchen Whitmer proposed a halt on her state’s 6% gasoline and diesel tax after threatening to veto Republicans’ attempt to pause the state’s 27.2-cents-per-gallon gas and diesel levy.

Gov. Brian Kemp also signed a bill that suspended Georgia’s fuel tax through the end of May. And Maryland’s Larry Hogan followed suit by giving drivers a 30-day break from the state’s 36-cents-a-gallon tax.

More Leaders Call to Suspend the Federal Fuel Tax to Offset Driving Costs

Once President Biden announced that the U.S. was cutting off all Russian oil imports due to the invasion of Ukraine, lawmakers knew that the skyrocketing gas prices would continue to rise. So state leaders are hoping that the federal government will also work to lower costs by offering a break from the federal fuel tax.

Earlier this month, the governors of Colorado, Michigan, Minnesota, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin wrote a joint letter to congress asking to support legislation that aims to suspend the national 18.4-cents-a-gallon gas tax through the end of the year.

“In the past several days, we have seen gas prices skyrocket to historic levels,” PA Senate President Pro Tempore Jake Corman wrote in the letter. “We must do all that we can to address this now at the state government level and offer our support to hard-working families.”

So far, the bill hasn’t moved through Congress. However, it is facing some opposition. Some people believe that the cost cut could hurt infrastructure projects that are funded by the tax. And others think that it’s unlikely that the savings would even pass to consumers.