Motorists pay more after deal breaks

Published 10:48 pm Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Motorists throughout Hampton Roads, Virginia and the rest of the United States are expected to pay even more at the gas pumps following President Donald Trump’s announcement on May 8 that America would withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal, the American Automobile Association of Tidewater Virginia announced on Monday.

The price for unleaded gas was $2.70 in Hampton Roads on Monday, which was eight cents more than last week, 18 cents more than the previous month and 59 cents more than the same date last year, according to the Monday press release. The statewide average was $2.67, slightly lower than the Hampton Roads average but still five cents more than last week.

The national gas price average jumped by six cents to $2.87, partly as a result of the White House’s decision to re-impose sanctions on Iran and withdraw the U.S. from the deal, according to the press release.

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The deal was set in 2015 under the President Barack Obama’s administration, including the United States, the European Union, Germany and five permanent members of the UN Security Council. Economics sanctions were lifted on Tehran in exchange for the country downsizing its nuclear program. Some of those sanctions targeted Iran’s energy sector and impeded its ability to sell oil, according to the press release.

Iran’s crude exports are expected to decrease with the sanctions being re-imposed in the next three to six months, contributing to already declining global crude supplies with simultaneously growing global demand. Increased fears of instability in the region may push oil prices even higher this week.

The ripple effect was felt across the United States on Monday, when 36 states saw average gas prices rise by five cents or more compared to last week.

“The administration’s move combined with the switchover to summer blend, growing global demand and shrinking supply continues to fuel pump prices as we approach the summer driving season,” AAA Tidewater Virginia Spokesperson Georjeane Blumling stated in the press release. She added that the national average could reach $3 per gallon this summer, “especially if crude oil prices continue to increase.”

Gasbuddy.com on Tuesday recorded prices at Suffolk pumps that ranged from $2.58 to as high as $2.79 per gallon, a sharp increase compared to the $2.53 to $2.66 per gallon range recorded on May 1.