Milwaukee area gas prices 'likely' to approach $5/gallon, expert says

Gov. Tony Evers joined five other Democratic governors Tuesday, May 8 in urging Congress to pause the 18.4-cents-a-gallon federal gasoline tax for the rest of the year to alleviate pump prices that exceed $4 per gallon. Pump prices were rising before Russia invaded Ukraine and have spiraled faster since the start of the war. 

Across the Milwaukee area, prices are close to or topping $4.00 a gallon. Economists say we could also soon see a jump in prices for things like milk and eggs.

The governors of Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Colorado, Minnesota and New Mexico wrote to congressional leaders, calling for relief.

"I ain’t never seen the prices like this," said Von Wilson, driver. "It’s crazy."

Drivers are being met with sticker shock as they fill up at the pump.

"They went ridiculous," said Jessie Pinson, driver. "Yesterday, it was $3.49. Today, it’s $4.09."

Gas prices across the U.S. are catapulting. The national average is more than $4.00 a gallon, up more than 40 cents a week ago. They could go even higher.

"It’s very likely we will see gas prices somewhere close to $5 a gallon in our area," said Abdur Chowdhury, Marquette.

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Chowdhury says we can expect things like grocery prices to increase as well as the inflation rate.

"There will be sort of a ripple effect in the economy," said Chowdhury.

Governor Evers joined other Democratic governors to call on congressional leaders to temporarily suspend the 18.4-cents-a-gallon federal gas tax. The governors say it would provide Americans with needed economic relief, but not everyone agrees.

"The suspension of the federal gas tax would likely have little or no impact on the retail price at the pump," said Debby Jackson, Wisconsin Transportation Development Association. "It would significantly undercut the major federal source of revenue for public transportation and highways."

Drivers are looking for a break as prices surge.

"I think it’s crazy.  It’s ridiculous.  It’s too high," said Kierra Dison, driver.

As for the more than 30-cents-a-gallon state gas tax, legislation would need to be passed and signed by the governor for it to be suspended.

Economists say an end to the conflict in Ukraine might be the best way to bring prices down.

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