Gas Prices Are Hitting Record Highs

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  • The national average for a gallon of regular gasoline reached $4.25 on Wednesday, the highest average ever.
  • Gas prices in the top 10 most expensive markets ranged from $5.57 in California to $4.39 in Pennsylvania.
  • As the conflict escalates with more sanctions, the oil markets will likely continue to rise.

As the Ukraine crisis continues to unfold and Russian oil is banned, gas prices are likely to go much higher.

Since Russia's invasion of Ukraine and President Biden announcing a ban on Russian oil, gas prices have surpassed the all-time highs set in 2008. The previous high was set on July 17, 2008, at $4.11 per gallon. According to AAA, the average national price for a gallon of regular gasoline reached $4.25 on Wednesday, the highest price ever. Just a week ago it was at $3.65, an increase of about 15%.

The nation's top ten most expensive markets

According to AAA, the nation's top 10 most expensive markets as of Wednesday, March 9, are:

  • California: $5.57
  • Hawaii: $4.77
  • Nevada: $4.77
  • Oregon: $4.66
  • Washington: $4.63
  • Alaska: $4.58
  • Illinois: $4.53
  • New York: $4.43
  • Connecticut: $4.42
  • Pennsylvania: $4.39

How high will gas prices go?

President Biden on Tuesday banned Russian oil to U.S. markets. Russia is the world's largest exporter of oil to global markets, and the second-largest crude oil exporter (behind Saudi Arabia).

"In addition to the unstable situation with the Russian invasion, we're also entering the time of year that seasonality pushes gasoline prices up by anywhere from 25 to 75 cents by Memorial Day," said Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy, in a statement on the company's website. "It's simply looking like a perfect storm for motorists at the pump, with little to no relief anytime soon."

With around 30 states and Washington, D.C. crossing the $4 threshold, and demand growing as pandemic restrictions loosen, oil prices may hit $5.

What options do drivers have?

With gas prices reaching record levels, you may be feeling a strain on your budget. Using a budgeting app might help you find some wiggle room in your spending to cut costs. But if gas is a big expense in your household, you might want to look into a credit card with cash back rewards for gas purchases to see if you can save a little money. Many gas station chains also offer loyalty programs. These rewards and loyalty programs can help offset the increase in gas prices.

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