CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Gas prices in the Carolinas are well over $4, with North Carolina drivers paying $4.67 on average and South Carolina paying $4.57, and those prices won't be dropping any time soon.
But many drivers might be wondering what's behind the surge that's led to record prices across the U.S. So what exactly determines the price of gasoline?
Let's connect the dots.
AAA says there are a few factors that determine gas prices:
- Crude oil prices
- Taxes distribution
- Marketing and refining
The biggest factor is the price of crude oil. It makes up for about two-thirds of what we pay at the pump. Crude oil prices are up about 70% nationally from last year.
American oil companies lead the world in crude production, but we still use more gas than we can make. Saudi Arabia is second in production with Russia a very close third.
Refining costs are the next big contributor. More refineries are in the South, which is why we typically see some of the cheapest gas in the country. But no matter where you drive, we are all still feeling the pain at the pump.
Flashpoint is a weekly in-depth look at politics in Charlotte, North Carolina, South Carolina, and beyond with host Ben Thompson. Listen to the podcast weekly.
SUBSCRIBE: Apple Podcasts || Spotify || Stitcher || Google Podcasts
Wake Up Charlotte To Go is a daily news and weather podcast you can listen to so you can start your day with the team at Wake Up Charlotte.
SUBSCRIBE: Apple Podcasts || Spotify || Stitcher || TuneIn || Google Podcasts
All of WCNC Charlotte's podcasts are free and available for both streaming and download. You can listen now on Android, iPhone, Amazon, and other internet-connected devices. Join us from North Carolina, South Carolina, or on the go anywhere.