Part of that, as the above stories illustrate, is just plain ole price gouging. But the big picture is more complicated than that. According to the EIA, in addition to the 61 percent of the price of a gallon of gas that comes from the cost of crude oil, the other 39 percent shakes out as follows: the costs of refinement (14 percent), distribution and marketing (11 percent), and taxes (14 percent).
And refining* looks to be a particular problem right now. The EIA reports that as of January 1, 1982, the U.S. had 301 refineries in operation. That compares to just 129 in operation as of January 1, 2021.