After days of dramatically rising gas prices in wake of Russia's invasion of Ukraine, the national average for a gallon of gas is now the highest in United States history, breaking the record that stood for nearly 14 years.
As of Tuesday morning, the cost of regular gas in the U.S. 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 on July 17, 2008, according to AAA.
The cost for diesel is also nearing the record of $4.84, which was also set in July 2008. The current price for a gallon of diesel is $4.75, over double what it was in October 2020.
One of the main components of the rising costs is the ongoing invasion of Ukraine by Russian armed forces. Tom Kloza, chief global analyst for the Oil Price Information Service, previously told USA TODAY that Russia is the second-largest oil producer in the world, behind the United States.
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Since the country is one of the biggest energy suppliers, crude oil prices have dramatically risen. The Associated Press reported a barrel of U.S. crude oil cost $119.40 per barrel, while Brent crude, the international standard, cost at $123.21 per barrel on Monday.
While the current price of gas has broken a record, it is expected to rise throughout the year. The fuel-savings app GasBuddy projects prices will likely average $4.25 in May, and continue to be 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 fuel-savings app GasBuddy, said in a statement on Monday.
De Haan said in a tweet on Sunday the chances of a $5 nationwide average are "somewhat remote," but remain a small possibility.
Most expensive gas in the U.S.
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 remains the only state to average over $5 a gallon.
The most expensive county for gas is Mono County, which borders Nevada and is where the tourist destination Mammoth Mountain is located. The average price there is $6.02.
Some gas locations throughout the state reported prices near or over $2 than the state average. Gas stations in Los Angeles and San Francisco are reportedly selling regular gas for over $6 per gallon, with some reaching nearly $7. In the city of Gorda, around 140 miles south of San Francisco on the coast, one station was charging $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 – have averaged under $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.