Gas stations that are struggling to meet growing demand from consumers are on track to close in 2018.
That’s the latest sign that a volatile industry is heading toward collapse, as the number of gas stations in the United States is expected to grow by about 7% by 2021.
“The industry is going to be very hard hit,” said John C. Gee, president of the Gas Station Association of America.
“There is no doubt about it.”
Gee predicts that by the end of 2020, about 40% of all U.S. gas stations will close.
In recent years, more than 3 million gas stations have closed in the U.s., a rate of about a quarter of the total gas stations.
The number of U.N.-approved gas stations, which can sell up to 1,000 gallons of gasoline per hour, is expected be in decline by about a third by 2021, according to the National Association of Manufacturers.
“We expect the number to drop further, but not by much,” said David J. Schmitt, senior vice president for global markets at the National Gas Association.
Gas stations in other parts of the country, such as in the West, are already seeing an uptick in demand from the energy industry, according the American Petroleum Institute.
“Gas stations are one of the few things that we know are going to stay in business,” said Bob McAfee, president and CEO of the American Gas Association, a trade group for gas station owners.
Gas station owners have said that the industry is suffering from a lack of competition, a lack and a lack not only of financing but also a lack for state and local regulation.
“This is an issue we have been talking about for years,” said Gee.
“It’s been getting worse for some time.”
A sign hangs at a gas station in New York City, U.C. Davis.
A lack of government regulation has pushed up prices in the industry, and has made it difficult for people to afford gas, according Gee and others.
Gas station owners in states like Florida and Illinois have filed lawsuits in recent years to force the state to impose more regulation on the industry.
In Pennsylvania, a bill was introduced last year that would require gas stations to be licensed and have state inspections.
The bill was opposed by gas station operators, who say that it will only drive up gas prices and could hurt the state’s economy.
“This is the first bill we have heard of that would really change the gas business in the state of Pennsylvania,” said Mike D’Alesandro, president/CEO of the Pennsylvania Gas & Electric Cooperative, a gas retailer.
The federal government has also stepped in.
Last month, the U