THE CENTER SQUARE and MUST READ ALASKA
Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp has declared a state of emergency and has suspended the state’s excise tax on motor and locomotive fuel for the next month.
The executive order, which the governor says is necessary because of high inflation, takes effect at 12 a.m. on Wednesday. It remains in effect until 11:59 p.m. on Oct. 12.
“From runaway federal spending to policies that hamstring domestic energy production, all Bidenomics has done is take more money out of the pockets of the middle class,” Kemp said Tuesday.
“While high prices continue to hit family budgets, hardworking Georgians deserve real relief and that’s why I signed an executive order today to deliver it directly to them at the pump,” the governor said. “Working with partners in the General Assembly, we’ll continue to help Georgians weather the economic headwinds caused by this president, his administration, and their allies in Congress.”
Georgia collects more than 31 cents per gallon for gasoline and 35 cents per gallon for diesel fuel.
On Monday, AAA said Georgia’s gas prices have steadily declined for the past two weeks. As of Tuesday, Peach State motorists are paying an average price of $3.57 per gallon for regular unleaded gasoline, up from $3.242 a year ago and below the national average of $3.836.
That’s less than in California, which also has a high tax on gas. Drivers in California are paying an average of $5.439 per gallon — 51 cents of that is tax. Washingtonians are paying $5 per gallon, including a tax of more than 49 cents per gallon. Alaskans pay more than $465 typically, much higher in rural areas. Alaska has a gas tax of just under 9 cents.
Oil prices are generally higher than the nation has seen since November, with West Texas Intermediate, the U.S. benchmark, staying above $85 per barrel, the Houston Chronicle reported Monday. “A strong U.S. jobs report last week stirred rumors of possible action at the Federal Reserve, but it was Saudi Arabia’s decision to extend production cuts through the end of the year that crowded out most of the economic indicators last week.”
Alaska North Slope crude is over $93 per barrel.
“Despite the uptick in crude oil prices, Georgians are feeling some relief at the pump,” Montrae Waiters, AAA-The Auto Club Group spokeswoman, said in a Monday statement. “Gas prices may ebb and flow until we get beyond hurricane season and its threats to Gulf Coast oil and gas production and refining.”
Total U.S. crude inventories, including what is left in the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, fell below 800 million barrels this week, a level not seen since 1985. The country has just 46 days worth of supply in total reserves, an all-time low. During the Trump Administration, the U.S. had a record 92 days of reserve inventory, double what it has today.
Last week, President Joe Biden canceled all of Alaska’s pending oil and gas leases on the North Slope. Since he campaigned for president, he has pledged to end oil and gas leases on all federal land.