Some so called experts are blaming virtually all of the gas price hikes on the recent spate of bad Texas and midwest weather, which saw many refineries grind to a halt.

However, it's more complex than that. Despite what investopedia.com calls the COVID effect in 2020, during the last four years the U.S. became energy independent for the first time in about 75 years. Prices were low, reasonable. The Investopedia.com report was dated January (updated) 25th 2021.

However, along with supply and demand, and yes, the bad weather and refiniers, oil markets are very volatile and react to political instability.  When Biden 'killed' the Keystone Pipeline, it had an immediate effect. The following week in January, prices in our region rose nearly ten cents. Couple that with a minimum 60 day 'pause' on fracking; no more drilling or frackin (for now) on Federal lands, and other political moves sent ripples through the oil market.

Many traders in the oil market now believe with Biden in office, the U.S. will veer away from energy independence, which will only drive prices up higher and higher.

OPEC reacted as well. So what are we seeing now? Prices in our region (and across the country) continue to spike.

As of Thursday March 11, the cheapest gas according to the GasBuddy Mobile App was Costco at $2.86. Compare that to our report that showed January 21st, it was $2.21 (we filled up the wife's car and saved the receipt).

Seveal Exxon, Speedway and Sinclair stations were clustered between $2.87 and $2.89, and prices go up from there. The highest prices we found Thursday was $3.09.

 If prices continue to rise, here's some ways perhaps you could be saving money elsewhere.

LOOK: Here are 25 ways you could start saving money today

These money-saving tips—from finding discounts to simple changes to your daily habits—can come in handy whether you have a specific savings goal, want to stash away cash for retirement, or just want to pinch pennies. It’s never too late to be more financially savvy. Read on to learn more about how you can start saving now. [From: 25 ways you could be saving money today]