Gas prices soar ahead of holiday weekend

WASHINGTON, D.C. (NBC) – Another Thanksgiving tradition is in full swing Tuesday morning with the traffic crush on the nation’s roads and highways.

More than 48 million Americans are expected to travel by car this week, according to AAA. That’s up from nearly 4 million since last year and approaching pre-pandemic levels in 2019.

The holiday rush comes amid a surge in gas prices, now at their highest level in seven years, with the national average cost of a gallon of gas at $3.40. The highest prices are in the Northeast and the West. All of it is leaving drivers frustrated.

Hoping to relieve that pressure at the pump, President Biden announced the U.S. will tap into the nation’s strategic Petroleum Reserve, releasing 50 million barrels of crude as part of a coordinated effort by the U.S. and five other countries.

Biden said, “It will take time. But before long, you should see the price of gas drop where you fill up your tank.”

Experts warn it may take up to two weeks for prices to come down. But others doubt the government’s move will have much of an impact.

Patrick de Haan with Gas Buddy said, “I don’t think it’s going to bring meaningful relief to Americans. It will bring some amount of relief, maybe to the tune of 5 to 15 cents a gallon nationally.”

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