People now feel lucky to find gas for under $4-a-gallon in St. Louis. A long-time chemical engineer in the oil industry says it's time people know what's behind soaring gas prices. "People are looking for someone to blame," he says.

President Biden, Vladimir Putin, and oil industry leaders are the most often suspect culprits. The oil industry crashed amid plummeting demand then with U.S. production falling from nearly 13 million barrels-a-day to 9.7 million, Rapier said. The current fuel crisis has certainly been “fueled” by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the resulting U.s. ban on Russian oil imports.

Demand recovered, pump prices started climbing, and oil companies started ramping up production months before President Biden took office. “When supply collapsed you had companies that went bankrupt. You had people that left the oil industry permanently. When demand started to recover it’s not like going back out and turning a nob and cranking production back up,” Rapier said.

Experts expect U.S. oil prices to end up closer to $75-$80 dollars a barrel, down from close to $130 this week. Moving forward with the Keystone pipeline, stalled by President Biden, could help with future crises, according to Rapier. “In the case of crisis like this that pipeline would have been there.”
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