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"It's going to be a tough summer": Expert on why the "worst" of diesel surcharges is yet to come

White House considers tapping diesel reserves
Biden Administration considers diesel fuel reserves due to rising fuel prices 02:12

Gasoline prices in the United States are reaching new records as the busy travel season approaches.  

The national average for a gallon of gasoline is $4.59 as Americans head into the Memorial Day weekend, according to AAA. The cost of diesel fuel also broke records last week when it reached $5.57.  

"A regular fill-up would have been — just, say, six months ago — about $700. Now, it's about 1,000," one trucker told CBS News. 

Nearly everything Americans purchase is delivered on a truck or train that runs on diesel. 

"If you're ordering anything that moves by freight across the country, it comes via fuel surcharges," oil analyst Tom Kloza said. 

Kloza said that despite the high numbers we are seeing now, the worst diesel surcharges will come next month.

The Biden administration is considering tapping a rarely used diesel reserve to help ease prices. Kloza said while the move is useful, it doesn't help in the grand scheme of things — because, he says, the U.S. still exports more than 1 million barrels of diesel a day. 

The White House tapped the strategic petroleum reserve in April to help ease skyrocketing oil prices.  

But with Memorial Day weekend coming up, nearly 35 million people are expected to hit the road increasing the demand for gasoline. 

"I just don't think there's any magic bullet at the moment. It's going to be tough. It's going to be a tough summer," said Kloza. 

Fuel prices could keep just rising if any refineries were to shut down due to hurricanes or any other closing, experts also predict.  

"August looks like it's going to be a very active hurricane season in the Gulf of Mexico where you know about half of our refining capacity is on the coast. Anything goes when we get to hurricane season. That's true for gasoline. It's true for diesel. That's true for jet fuel," Kloza said. 

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