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Expand chart
Note: Prices reflect the average annual price for one gallon of regular unleaded gas. Data: Energy Information Administration; Chart: Chris Canipe/Axios

U.S. oil production has more than doubled over the last decade, but American drivers haven't always reaped the benefits.

Why it matters: U.S. gasoline prices are priced largely on the global oil market, where America's oil boom has been one of many complex factors affecting prices over the last several years. Casual observers may link our increased oil production with what they pay to fill up their cars' tanks, but they shouldn't, experts say.

"It illustrates how the U.S. is part of a larger global system and how U.S. production levels are only one variable among many that affect the final price of gasoline."
— Jonathan Chanis, senior vice president of policy at Securing America's Energy Future

One level deeper: Gasoline prices are perched at the end of a long pendulum of global oil prices swinging back and forth.

  • Domestic pump prices spiked in 2008 when global oil prices were over $140 a barrel, and then they fell when oil hit $30 a barrel in 2016.
  • Gas prices rose again when OPEC members and Russia agreed to cut production in November 2016.
  • We're now seeing the pendulum swing back toward boosting production, in response to rising oil prices.
  • The price of oil neared $80 a barrel in May, and the average price for a gallon of gas neared $3.00.

Go deeper: Who's to blame for high gasoline prices

Go deeper

Republicans threaten to shut down government over vaccine mandates

Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) in the Capitol in November 2020. Photo: Joshua Roberts/Getty Images

Conservative Republicans in the House and Senate are planning to force a government shutdown Friday to deny funding needed to enforce the Biden administration's vaccine mandates on the private sector, according to Politico.

Why it matters: Congress has until the end of the week to pass a stopgap measure to extend funding into 2022, though objection from a small group of Republicans could shut down the government.

Electric car prices could go up before they come down

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

The secret to affordable electric vehicles is cheaper batteries. But after years of falling prices, battery costs are now headed in the wrong direction.

Why it matters: Costlier batteries could drive up the price of electric vehicles — threatening the auto industry's transition away from fossil fuels, and, in turn, society's fight against climate change.

The Supreme Court's abortion showdown arrives

Protesters gather at the Supreme Court during arguments about the Texas abortion law Nov. 1. Photo: Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images

The Supreme Court will debate today whether to overturn Roe v. Wade, and neither side is trying to lower the stakes — or to make today’s case anything less than a referendum on Roe’s very survival.

The big picture: Conventional wisdom, on both the left and right, says the court is likely to chip away at abortion rights without overturning its precedents outright. But neither side has spent much time trying to help the justices thread that needle.