Nick Jarmusz, a spokesman for AAA-Nebraska, says it’s elementary economics — as supplies start to be squeezed and demand begins to rise, prices will go up.
“We’re beginning to see the very earliest impact of the agreement that was made last year by OPEC and Russia to slow down production which is just now beginning to tighten up the global supply a little bit,” Jarmusz says.
A few weeks ago, some Nebraska gas stations were offering self-serve unleaded at prices in the $1.90s, but most are now over the $2 mark.
“More people, even in the depths of the winter here, are driving because more people are employed and the economy is doing better,” Jarmusz says. “The supply and demand balance is shifting a bit back more towards higher gas prices.”
Recent political upheavals in the South American country of Venezuela may also be a factor in the gas prices in Nebraska.
“There’s been some talk about a possible boycott of Venezuelan oil until the situation there fully transitions with the regime, but none of that has taken place yet,” he says.
Gas prices in Nebraska are averaging $2.08 a gallon statewide, which is about 20-cents below the national average and 50-cents lower than the state average a year ago. Nebraska’s most expensive gas is in Kearney at $2.21 a gallon while the cheapest gas is in Norfolk at $2.00.