Usually unrest in the Middle East translates into booming gas prices for American drivers, but so far the Syrian conflict has had little to no effect on US gas prices. Slight increases, as of late, in average gas prices nationwide have been attributed to Labor Day weekend and its tendency to induce higher prices at the gas pump. An increase in the number of fuel efficient cars on the road and a push for sustainable oil consumption are all contributing factors that have kept gas prices in check.
According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the top five exporters of petroleum to the United States are Canada, Saudi Arabia, Mexico, Venezuela, and Russia. The United States is no longer as dependent as it once was on petroleum suppliers in the Middle East. This means that conflicts like the ongoing one in Syria or any other conflict that may arise in this region will not cripple the United States’ supply of petroleum.
Since 2004, Americans have driven fewer miles annually than the year prior. Combine that with the push for developing more hybrid vehicles and renewable energy sources and it is evident that demand for traditional fuel is decreasing. Because of this, experts believe that if it were not for the ongoing Syria conflict, gas prices would be on the decline. In fact, the chief analyst of the Oil Price Information Service predicts that the average fuel price nationwide will be around $2.90 by the end of 2013-the current average price is around $3.60.
If gas prices do decrease as predicted, it will be interesting to see if demand rises as a result or if the push for sustainable energy sources will maintain its firepower. Which do you think is more likely to happen? Feel free to leave a comment below!