Just as gas prices began leveling off, according to a AAA report, there is a new fear of a spike in prices following President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw the United States from the Iran nuclear deal.
Trump announced Tuesday afternoon not to waive sanctions on Iran, effectively terminating the United States’ participation in the Iran Nuclear Agreement which has prevented Iran from developing nuclear weapons since 2015.
The withdrawal of the deal has led to fears that even as gas prices reach their highest national average in four years, they may spike, just in time for the busiest driving season of the year approaches.
Iran is the world's third-largest oil producing nation.
The withdrawal comes as AAA released the report that a tapering trend emerged as prices stayed relatively stagnant in recent days.
As of this week, national gas prices reached an average of $2.81 per gallon, 45 cents more expensive than a year ago, though prices may be leveling out according to the latest report from AAA. The average price is the same as it was a week ago, and 15 cents higher than a month ago.
“If this past week’s moderate increases are any indicator of what’s to come, the fast rate at which gas prices were increasing may be slowing down,” AAA spokesperson Jeanette Casselano said. “On the week, the national average held steady and 19 state averages remained flat or saw decreases in gas prices. Despite this stability, drivers on the West Coast and in Idaho, Utah and Pennsylvania are paying $3 per gallon.”
The tristate area remains one of the most expensive places to buy gas in the country, with an average of $2.95 in New York, $2.89 in New Jersey and $2.98 in Connecticut. At $2.89, New Jersey’s gas price average is 51-cents more expensive on the year – the largest year-over-year difference in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast region.
Following the announcement, prices are expected to spike at well over $3 per gallon nationally. Local politicians were quick to speak out against the president’s decision.
“Sure, the deal’s not perfect – I’ve said that since it was brokered – but you don’t have to end the deal to strengthen it. If we scrap the deal, abandon our NATO allies, and the Iranians start racing towards a nuclear weapon, we could easily find ourselves in another ground war in the Middle East,” Democratic Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney of the Hudson Valley said in a statement. “I’d feel better if I knew what the president’s plan was for that scenario. I don’t think he’s thought about it.”
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