Gas prices in the United States increased significantly long before Russia attacked Ukraine. However, the price of gasoline has risen much quicker since the war began.
According to AAA, the national average for gasoline prices was $4.32 on Monday. California has the highest gas prices in the country, averaging $5.74 a gallon.
California’s gas costs are often higher than those in other states. This is partly due to increased infrastructure levies and environmental costs.
As gas costs continue to rise, many individuals, particularly those historically disenfranchised, are scrambling to make ends meet.
Brown, Samual Nathaniel, resides in Sacramento. After nearly 25 years in jail, he moved away from crime and became a leader and activist in Black communities.
Brown is co-founder of the organization Anti-Violence Safety and Accountability Project, dedicated to breaking the cycle of violence and addressing its effects via eliminating systematic racism.
“High gas costs make it more difficult for individuals to go about their everyday lives,” Brown added. “Our communities are constantly budgeting. We budget for how much petrol we will use each month.”
Brown was released from jail in December, and California provided him with $200 to cover basic expenses. California’s current statute provides freshly released inmates with $200 through an allowance scheme, sometimes referred to as ‘gate money.’
“With rising gas prices, rent, food, and everything else, what we’re given to survive makes us feel unwelcome in society,” Brown explained. “By the grace of God, I’ve been able to endure because I have a solid support network. Every day, I put forth a lot of effort. Nonetheless, even with that effort, it remains difficult.”
According to a recent analysis by the United States Department of Labor, inflation contributes to the rise in consumer prices. This encompasses both tangible and intangible things, such as food and energy.
The United States Department of Labor defines inflation as the general upward rise in the prices of goods and services across an economy.
According to a Bank of America analysis from 2021, inflation disproportionately affects communities of color.
Additionally, researchers discovered that Blacks, Latinos, and rural residents spend the bulk of their money on high-priced products and services, such as electricity, food, automobiles, and home items.
California lawmakers assert that they aim to assist customers, particularly at the pump. Governor Gavin Newsom has proposed a ‘gas tax refund,’ while other legislators have proposed reducing the state tax on gas suppliers.’
Despite recent legislative measures, many communities of color, low-income families, and others continue to be in severe need of financial assistance.
“I believe the gas tax holiday is a bad idea,” Brown stated. “To begin, it is prioritizing companies over individuals. With regards to the gas tax refund, while the intentions are admirable, we do not want assistance in the future; we require assistance now.”
Brown, for example, has declared the California gas price surge a catastrophe. He wants the government to supply historically underprivileged neighborhoods with a debit card loaded each month – similar to the EBT system – to be used only for petrol.