Gas prices projected to increase up to 20 cents over summer

The average price of a gallon of gas is expected to increase by between 10 and 20 cents nationwide by August, according to the American Automobile Association (AAA).

The trade group said Tuesday that the national average price of gas increased from $2.25 to $3.13 between Jan. 1 and July 6, a 40 percent spike. It projected a further increase of between 10 and 20 cents by the end of the summer, which would amount to a national average of $3.25 per gallon.

“Robust gasoline demand and more expensive crude oil prices are pushing gas prices higher,” said Jeanette McGee, a AAA spokesperson. “We had hoped that global crude production increases would bring some relief at the pump this month, but weekend OPEC negotiations fell through with no agreement reached. As a result, crude prices are set to surge to a seven year-high.”

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The group added that crude oil prices are likely to surpass $76.40 as soon as the end of Tuesday for the first time since November 2014, which will likely lead to further gas price increases over the weeks ahead.

The announcement came a day after the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) called off a Monday meeting with allies, including Russia.

At the White House press briefing Tuesday, press secretary Jen PsakiJen PsakiBiden walks fine line with Fox News White House on Cleveland Indians' name change: 'We certainly support their change of name' US delegation departs Haiti after reports of gunshots at ex-president's funeral MORE pushed back on Republican attacks claiming the Biden administration was responsible for increases, noting that a confluence of factors outside of any individual president’s control led to increases or decreases in gas prices.

“I think there sometimes is a misunderstanding of what causes gas prices to increase and so, to convey to the American people, that we’re working on it and certainly the supply availability of oil has a huge impact,” Psaki said. “I would also say that ensuring Americans don’t bear a burden at the pump continues to be a top priority for the administration at large.”