The Montana Petroleum Association (MPA) held their annual meeting in Billings this week. It was a great opportunity to catch up with local and state officials, as well as experts inside the industry.

Alan Olson is a former state lawmaker from the Roundup area who now serves as the Executive Director for MPA.

With gas prices still topping $4 a gallon in Montana, Alan says the Biden Administration's latest bill will only pile on to our nation's energy problems.

Alan Olson: You look at some of the things that came down in the- they call it the 'Inflation Reduction Act'- I just can't see where that's going to reduce inflation. One of the things that they have in there is a new tax on crude oil at the refinery- little over $7 a barrel, whether it's domestic or imported, that's going to raise the price of energy. There's no two ways about it. The methane fees- that is going to raise the price of energy.

We also talked about the energy crisis facing Europe. As the United States and Europe have shifted towards "green new deal" style energy policies, the West is struggling with higher prices and supply chain issues, while Russia and China are on the march.

Alan Olson: The only increase we see coming down the pike in increased refining capacity is in China. Refining capacity in Europe has dropped. In the United States it's dropped, but the Chinese are increasing refining capacity. And that is not for export.

Here's the full audio with Alan Olson:


LOOK: See how much gasoline cost the year you started driving

To find out more about how has the price of gas changed throughout the years, Stacker ran the numbers on the cost of a gallon of gasoline for each of the last 84 years. Using data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (released in April 2020), we analyzed the average price for a gallon of unleaded regular gasoline from 1976 to 2020 along with the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for unleaded regular gasoline from 1937 to 1976, including the absolute and inflation-adjusted prices for each year.

Read on to explore the cost of gas over time and rediscover just how much a gallon was when you first started driving.

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