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Gas prices have rocketed to another record high as the national average hit $4.48 a gallon today.
Prices have surged by 15 cents over the last week, 40 cents over the past month and $1.43 in a year, according to the AAA.
Meanwhile some states – such as California – are reporting spiraling prices of up to $5.98 this week.
Russia’s war in Ukraine is having a dramatic impact on the cost of crude oil – which sits at $114.20 a barrel.
This coupled with rising inflation of 8.3 percent are the main culprits why drivers are spending more than $100 to fill up on full tank of regular unleaded gas in nearly a third of the country.
Gas prices in the US reached all-time high at $4.48 per gallon national average on Monday
Gas prices have risen to a high of $4.48 and rose 16 cents just from last week alone
Gas prices are up by 27 per cent from the day before Russia brutally invaded Ukraine earlier this year.
‘Everything is pointing toward even higher prices. We are well on our way toward $5,’ Andy Lipow, president of Lipow Oil Associates, told CNN with prices almost sure to rise higher by Memorial Day, perhaps as high as $4.75 a gallon.
AAA is reporting an average of the average above $5 a gallon in California, Washington, Nevada and Hawaii, with Oregon not far behind.
The average price of gas a year ago was $3.04 a gallon. Prices were recovering from the pandemic when stay-at-home orders and business shutdowns slashed demand for gasoline.
States recording the highest average gasoline prices as of Monday are California ($5.98), Hawaii ($5.32) and Nevada ($5.17)
A lack of supply resulted in a gas shortage last summer, sending U.S. gas prices to a seven-year high.
Lipow believes that gasoline production will ramp up in the coming weeks with more US refineries ending maintenance season. and coming online.
Supply is currently at just 97% of 2019 levels.
But the current jump in prices only serves to worsen headaches caused by inflation which are also affected by the rise in gas prices.
‘The high cost of oil, the key ingredient in gasoline, is driving these high pump prices for consumers,’ AAA spokesperson Andrew Gross said in a statement on Monday.
Inflation is as high as it’s been in 40 years as Biden has appeared to lay the blame on corporate taxes and on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine
Inflation began to soar in April 2021, meaning that annual increases are now starting from a higher base level
‘Even the annual seasonal demand dip for gasoline during the lull between spring break and Memorial Day, which would normally help lower prices, is having no effect this year.’
While all countries have access to the same gasoline, subsidies or taxes imposed locally mean the ultimate cost to consumers varies wildly.
For example, in oil-producing Nigeria, which subsidizes fuel, the official price is 40 US cents per liter.
In Hong Kong, drivers were already paying US$2.50 per liter in 2021, according to the Economist Intelligence Unit.
On average, Americans pay around $1 per liter, according to the AAA, and even California’s $1.34 per liter is well below the prices paid by Europeans.
Gasoline demand in the United States increased by 3.0% in the past week
‘It’s expensive but it’s always been more expensive here in California, so I guess we’re used to it,’ said Harry Lee, as he fueled up on the way to work in Los Angeles on Friday. ‘I’ll be happy when it goes down but so far it doesn’t impact me too much,’ he added.
‘My cousin, who drives for Uber here in LA, is complaining a lot though. I guess it can be hard on him if gas remains at this level for too long.’
California’s relatively high gas prices are the result of state taxes, as well as stricter refining rules that require specific fuel formulae intended to reduce air pollution in the hot summer months.
While many drivers have grumbled about seeing pump prices rise almost daily, some say they are prepared to put up with the extra cost because of the pictures of the war in Ukraine they are seeing on the news.
‘I would rather have high gas prices here than an authoritarian regime in the Ukraine,’ said Los Angeles resident Jacqueline St-Anne.
‘If we have to suffer with a little bit of inflation and gas prices for a while to assure that such a wonderful country as Ukraine has an opportunity to develop its democracy, we should do that.’
For others, there is a simple solution to paying through the nose.
‘I just bought a Tesla,’ said Matthew Reynl, speaking about the electric car. ‘That’s my solution to the gas prices going up.’
People are pictured waiting in line to purchase gas in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in 2005 when oil refineries shut and forced others to reduce operations. Gas prices rose sharply