Who Controls Gas Prices in the US?

Who controls gas prices in the U.S.? There's no puppeteer, just several factors that combine to pull and push on what you pay at the pump.

Hundred dollar bills stick out of a gas tank.
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Gasoline prices have been holding steady lately, reversing the equally dramatic rise they embarked on in spring 2022. From a peak of $5.02 per gallon of regular in mid-2022, the national average is now down to $3.67. 

Drivers suffering from price whiplash might be asking, "Who controls gas prices?" The short answer is that no single person, company or government can really be said to set gas prices, the same way that no single entity controls the prices of the most common types of car insurance.

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Jim Patterson
Managing Editor, The Kiplinger Letter

Jim joined Kiplinger in December 2010, covering energy and commodities markets, autos, environment and sports business for The Kiplinger Letter. He is now the managing editor of The Kiplinger Letter and The Kiplinger Tax Letter. He also frequently appears on radio and podcasts to discuss the outlook for gasoline prices and new car technologies. Prior to joining Kiplinger, he covered federal grant funding and congressional appropriations for Thompson Publishing Group, writing for a range of print and online publications. He holds a BA in history from the University of Rochester.