SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Gas prices have surged to record highs ahead of the busy summer travel season. According to AAA, the national average for a gallon of gas hit a record $4.82 this week. In California, it's over $6.37 a gallon.
"It's definitely challenging," said Lyft driver John Cooks, who spends $70 a day on gasoline. "When are the prices going to go down?"
Greg Upton, a researcher at the Louisiana State University's Center for Energy Studies, says the relatively good news is that markets are in what's called "backwardation."
"That’s a fancy term that means prices are anticipated to go down in the future," Upton said.
Upton said the national average could fall back down to the mid-$3 range by next March, which would translate to the $4 range in California.
He said not to expect prices to fall this summer, as demand is expected to remain high.
"Over the next month or two, there could be some up and down in prices, but we can kind of anticipate prices being high through the end of the summer. Once we get into the fall and winter, prices will likely decline again," Upton said.
Cooks said the analysis doesn't give him comfort right now.
"I just want to make my living and not feel like I’m getting, you know, stripped, in a way, in order to do that," Cooks said.