Way way back in early 2020, Coronavirus/COVID-19 was ramping up in a big ugly way. There was no vaccine, and information about how to keep from getting it was confusing, sometimes contradictory, and rife with quack remedies (those mostly propagated by TFG). The virus itself was a lot harsher, and the real medical treatments were (in retrospect) sometimes making the symptoms worse.
Everyone was freaking out, and business were shutting down left and right. Those who could work from home did. Because of this, there was a LOT less vehicular traffic. The air and water got cleaner, and gas prices plummeted when demand fell off the chart. FOX "News" apparently saw this as problem, saying that low prices were hurting gas stations
. Ultimately, the plummeting prices due to lack of demand caused OPEC to slash production, so that the supply and demand balance helped maintain the profits for the Saudis (and global oil companies).
The vaccine, proper prevention methods (at least by those who appreciate science), and mutations in the virus weakening its effects on the human body caused infection rates to drop dramatically. This was the great reawakening of the American economy. Demand for everything was up, but the supply chain (and oil production) was not keeping up. Prices rose, especially for gasoline.
This - along with the right-wing's propensity for trash talk - resulted in the "Thanks Brandon" stickers that began appearing on gas pumps country-wide. President Biden was blamed for the gas pump prices, which were actually caused by the previously mentioned sharp increase in demand and the increased number of shuttered refineries.
Never mind that we were (and are) a net exporter of oil, and that oil is a global commodity - somehow the Deplorables got it fixed in their minds that the problem was that President Biden was stifling oil production here in the USA. Never mind that it was the oil companies choosing not to drill because controlling supplies meant that they could keep prices up.
Fast-forward to today. OPEC just announced that they will be cutting oil production by 10%
. This, of course will push oil prices (and - thus - gas prices) up. There is already a rumbling of "drill more" here in the U.S. That may actually come to pass this time, as American oil companies seek to fill the demand gap, and - of course - make more money for themselves.
One thing we should NOT be surprised about is whether the reactionary cultists will exploit this by blaming the president again; they absolutely will. The bigger question is how well the White House and media will respond to this, re: educating consumers and the electorate. This will likely become a campaign issue for 2024, so we (and those who care about truth) should be prepared to fight back with actual facts. The facts should be concise enough to fit on a bumper sticker, because that's about the attention span of the average American.
Buckle up - it's going to be a bumpy (and expensive) ride.