Gas prices climb to record levels amid Russian invasion of Ukraine
The national average price for gas continues to soar, breaking records in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
After days of dramatically rising gas prices in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the national average for a gallon of gas is the highest in U.S. history, breaking a record that stood for nearly 14 years.
As of Tuesday morning, the cost of regular gas is $4.17, according to AAA, up from $4.06 on Monday. Last week, the average cost was $3.60.
The previous national average high was $4.11, set July 17, 2008, according to AAA. The current record does not account for inflation
The cost for diesel is nearing the record of $4.84, also set in July 2008. The price for a gallon of diesel is $4.75, more than double what it was in October 2020.
One of the main components of the rising costs is the invasion of Ukraine by Russian armed forces. Tom Kloza, chief global analyst for the Oil Price Information Service, told USA TODAY that Russia is the second-largest oil producer in the world, behind the United States.
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The Associated Press reported a barrel of U.S. crude oil cost $119.40 per barrel, and Brent crude, the international standard, cost $123.21 per barrel on Monday.
Gas prices are likely to keep rising. The fuel-savings app GasBuddy projects prices will probably average $4.25 in May and stay over $4 until November.
“Americans have never seen gasoline prices this high, nor have we seen the pace of increases so fast and furious. That combination makes this situation all the more remarkable and intense, with crippling sanctions on Russia curbing their flow of oil, leading to the massive spike in the price of all fuels: gasoline, diesel, jet fuel and more,” Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy, said in a statement Monday.
De Haan said in a tweet Sunday the chances of a $5 nationwide average are “somewhat remote” but remain a small possibility.
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Most expensive gas in the USA
As is historically the case, California has the most expensive prices in the country, averaging $5.44 a gallon as of Tuesday. The Golden State is the only one to average more than $5 a gallon.
The most expensive county for gas is Mono County, which borders Nevada and includes the tourist destination Mammoth Mountain. The average price is $6.02.
Some gas locations reported prices about $2 over the state average. Stations in Los Angeles and San Francisco sell regular gas for more than $6 per gallon, some reaching nearly $7. In the city of Gorda, about 140 miles south of San Francisco on the coast, one station charged $7.59, KSBW reported.
As of Tuesday morning, 28 states have average prices over $4. Only five states – South Dakota, Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma and Arkansas – averaged less than $3.80. The cheapest state to get gas is Oklahoma at $3.71.
Here are the most expensive average costs of gas per gallon in the country, per AAA:
- California ($5.44)
- Hawaii ($4.71)
- Nevada ($4.67)
- Oregon ($4.58)
- Washington ($4.54)
- Alaska ($4.50)
- Illinois ($4.42)
- New York ($4.36)
- Connecticut ($4.35)
- Pennsylvania ($4.31)
Contributing: Mike Snider, Brett Molina
Follow Jordan Mendoza on Twitter: @jordan_mendoza5.