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Thanksgiving trip on the rise

Travelers hitting the road for Thanksgiving this week will notice two things during their trip: They’ll have more company, and gas prices in many states remain on the rise.

UPI reports that the automotive group predicts that 53.4 million people will travel for the holidays in the coming days. That’s an increase of 6.4 million, or 13%, from last year when the coronavirus forced many people to bypass the annual family event.

The American Automobile Association (AAA) said about 48.3 million people will be driving somewhere on Thanksgiving and 4.2 million will be flying.

Those not in the sky and in the field, however, will see prices rise at the pump as they have been all year round, stubbornly remaining at their highest level in seven years.

Last week, gasoline prices in California hit an all-time high, peaking at $ 4.682 for a gallon of regular unleaded, according to the Automobile Club of Southern California. On Monday, the price of a gallon of regular unleaded was $ 4,706, according to UPI.

In Florida, Thanksgiving gas prices are expected to be the highest in eight years.

“High gas prices are not something drivers will be thankful for this Thanksgiving,” said Mark Jenkins, spokesperson for AAA-The Auto Club Group.

Gasoline prices are displayed at a gas station on November 15, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. According to AAA, the statewide average price of a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline reached $ 4.68 today, a record high. (Mario Tama / Getty Images)

President Joe Biden last week warned against illegal behavior by gas companies that could charge more at the pump than necessary, calling on the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to investigate the price spike in the United States.

He spoke as California reported the highest average price for a gallon of regular gasoline at $ 4.682, breaking the October 2012 record of $ 4.671.

In a letter to FTC President Lina Khan, Biden warned, “The bottom line is this: Gasoline prices at the pump remain high, even as costs for oil and gas companies are falling. “

The industry lobbying association, the American Petroleum Institute, has done Biden’s muddled messages a favor.

Frank Macchiarola, the group’s senior vice president of political, economic and regulatory affairs, called Biden’s push for an investigation a “distraction” from the ongoing market shift and said “misguided government decisions” were exacerbating the situation.

“Rather than launching investigations into regulated and closely watched markets on a daily basis or advocating with OPEC to increase supply,” he said, “we should encourage the safe and responsible development of oil and American-made natural gas “.

Whatever asserts it for Biden, the market forces of supply and demand simply ignore the administrative decision.

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