GasBuddy analyst Gregg Laskoski tells CultureMap that the current strife in the Middle East could push gasoline prices considerably higher than $5 a gallon.
“The wild card is that we don’t know when or if there will be a peaceful resolution between Israel and Iran,” he says. “Secretary of defense Leon Panetta believes there’s a better than a 50 percent chance an [Israeli] attack could happen this April, May, or June.”
Laskoski warned that a military dispute of this magnitude could spike crude oil prices as high as $200 a barrel. Based on petroleum industry estimates, the cost increase would add $2.50 to existing gasoline prices, which would top them off well above $6 a gallon.
“People may think we’re reporting that the sky is falling, but you can’t rule out any of these things happening,” he says. “Prices this high could be a tremendous catastrophe for the American economy.”