Venezuelan Crisis Could Affect US Gas Prices



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National gas prices surged last month due to the riots and violence in some of the world’s top petroleum-producing nations: Venezuela, Ukraine, and South Sudan.
Venezuela, which has the larges oil reserves in the entire world, is currently experiencing disastrous internal problems. Its citizens have taken to the streets to protest the socialist Chavez-Maduro regime, which has left the country financially in dire straights—lack of consumer staples like flour and toilet paper, runaway inflation, power outages, and the highest murder rate in the world.
Despite the slew of problems that Venezuelans currently face, they can still fill up their gas tanks for less than they would pay for a cup of coffee. At about 6 cents a gallon, gas in Venezuela is the cheapest in the world. Venezuelans rely on the dirt-cheap gas prices so much that they tend to take this subsidy for granted, yet giving away gas for next to nothing is severely hurting the country’s economy.
According to The New York Times, estimates show that the Venezuelan government gives away $30 billion in gasoline and diesel every year, which is one of the main reasons why the inflation rate in Venezuela has skyrocketed.
Not only does Venezuela dole out (almost) free gas to its citizens, but it also provides deeply subsidized oils to Cuba, Jamaica, Haiti, and Nicaragua. The Petróleos de Venezuela S.A. (PDVSA) also shows love to the United States, donating $400 million worth of heating oil to poor households in America.
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