Gas prices: Cost to fill up keeps surging despite state, federal action

In just one week, the national average price of gasoline surged 25 cents to hit $4.87 per gallon. The cost of oil is inching closer to $120 a barrel — nearly double from last August.

Yet people keep fueling up. The high demand — especially as summer approaches — will likely put more strain on an already tight global supply.

"I don't think people will be necessarily canceling plans altogether," GasBuddy's Patrick De Haan said. "But I do see in our data, people saying to us that they're going to be staying closer to home as a result."

In an attempt to lower costs, President Joe Biden is taking executive action to boost domestic production of clean energy. He authorized the Energy Department to use the Defense Production Act to speed up the manufacturing of solar panel parts, insulation for buildings, and heat pumps. The White House also won't be imposing new tariffs on solar panels for two years.

Meanwhile, some Democrats are targeting oil companies.

"They're making record profits, causing consumers unprecedented pain," U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Connecticut, said.

But some energy groups — like the American Petroleum Institute and the Consumer Energy Alliance — are calling on the Biden administration to increase domestic production. In a letter to the president, the groups called on him to start a new five-year program for federal offshore leasing. 

"We've watched this president go after energy so we can no longer be energy independent," House Minority Leader Kevin Mccarthy, R-Calif., said. "The price of gasoline has doubled."

Biden has not confirmed whether he'll go to Saudi Arabia later this month. But some energy experts say a trip to the oil-rich kingdom might not do much to lower the price of gas.