NATIONAL NEWS

US gas hits a record high of $4.17 a gallon; Utah still below record

Mar 8, 2022, 8:00 AM | Updated: Jun 8, 2022, 3:18 pm

(CNN) — U.S. drivers have never paid this much for gasoline. The price for a gallon of regular gas now stands at $4.17, according to AAA.

That breaks the previous record of $4.11 a gallon that has stood since July 2008.

In Utah, the average price of a gallon of regular jumped 15 cents since Monday to $4.01, the AAA said.

However, the Beehive State is still below its highest recorded price for regular unleaded of $4.22 a gallon, which was set in July 2008. However, it appears that record could be broken soon with many gas stations along the Wasatch Front raising prices even further Tuesday to $4.19 a gallon.

 

As Russia continues its military offensive in Ukraine, gas prices are rising faster than they have since Hurricane Katrina slammed into oil platforms and refineries along the U.S. Gulf Coast in 2005.

Gas prices rose 10 cents since early Monday, gaining three of those cents overnight, according to the Oil Price Information Service, the firm that collects and calculates prices for AAA. The price data is calculated on a dynamic basis with pricing information from 140,000 U.S. gas stations. OPIS confirmed Monday evening that a new record of $4.14 a gallon had been reached. But enough stations raised their prices further later Monday and early Tuesday to lift the average to $4.17.

The $4.17 average means that the price is up 55 cents a gallon in just the last week, and 63 cents, or 18%, since Feb. 24, the day Russian forces invaded Ukraine.

Gas price spikes won’t be stopping any time soon, said Tom Kloza, global head of energy analysis for the OPIS. Wholesale gasoline prices rose between 1 cent to as much as 12 cents a gallon in trading Monday in different markets across the United States. Those increases will be passed onto to drivers at the pump in relatively short order.

“I think we’ll hit $4.50 a gallon before it turns around,” said Kloza. “The risk is how bad this gets, how long this goes on. Even $5 a gallon nationwide is possible. I wouldn’t have predicted that before the fighting started.”

Why gas prices are surging

Russia is one of the world’s major oil exporters, with most of its output going to Europe and Asia. Russian oil made up only 2% of U.S. imports in December, according to Energy Department data. But oil is priced on global commodity markets, so the impact is felt everywhere.

The sanctions placed on Russia’s economy following the invasion have so far exempted oil exports. But traders have been reluctant to purchase Russian oil because of sanctions on the country’s banking sector. Many are also worried about finding oil tankers willing to dock in Russian ports.

AP Source: Biden to ban Russian oil imports over Ukraine war

The Biden administration said it is mulling a U.S. ban of Russian oil imports. That probably would have limited impact on global or domestic prices since so little is being shipped to the United States. But there is pressure building for a formal Russian oil ban by European countries and Japan. If that happens, or if Russia itself were to halt oil shipments to retaliate against Western sanctions, that would have a greater impact on global oil markets.

That’s what investors who are bidding on contracts for future deliveries of oil are betting could happen, which has been driving up the price of crude, Kloza said.

“If this becomes a real ban, not just a de facto ban, the concern is it’s going to last longer,” he said.

EXPLAINER: What does a US ban on Russian oil accomplish?

Where gas is most expensive … and cheapest

In some parts of the United States, $4 a gallon gas remains rare. A large swath of central states, from North Dakota south to Texas, had averages in Tuesday’s reading from AAA no higher than $3.86 a gallon.

But prices are rapidly increasing everywhere. The lowest statewide average is in Oklahoma, where unleaded stands at $3.72 a gallon. But that’s up 42 cents, or 13%, in the last week.

As of Monday morning, gas was $4 or more in 28 states, plus Washington, DC. All of the East Coast states other than South Carolina, as well as the three West Coast states, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan Alaska and Hawaii had statewide averages at or above $4. And it is likely that other states will cross the $4 a gallon mark soon, as South Carolina, West Virginia and Alabama are all within a couple of cents from that mark in Tuesday’s reading.

Utahns feel the jump at the pump

The highest prices are in California, where the statewide average stood at $5.44 a gallon.

Battling inflation

The rapid increase in gas prices is putting a real squeeze on many household budgets. It comes at an unfortunate time as overall inflation is up 7.5% over the last 12 months, the biggest year-over-year gain in consumer prices in nearly 40 years. Gasoline stations advertise prices in large numbers that are much more visible for consumers than many other prices.

The average U.S. household uses about 90 gallons of gas a month. So just the 63-cent increase in the average price since the start of the war in Ukraine will cost that typical household about $55 more a month than they were spending on gas before this latest spike.

And it’s not as if prices were low before this recent surge in gas prices. A year ago, the average price for a gallon of regular stood at $2.77 a gallon, so drivers are paying $1.40 a gallon more now. That comes to nearly $126 a month more, or about $1,500 a year, if prices stay that elevated for that long.

Still the $4.11 record that was set in 2008 would be the equivalent to $5.25 a gallon in today’s dollars when adjusted for inflation. And vehicles as a group are more fuel efficient today than they were in 2008, with far more electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles, and better fuel economy overall than the fleet of cars on the road 14 years ago.

KSL TV’s Ladd Egan contributed to this report.


The-CNN-Wire
™ & © 2022 Cable News Network, Inc., a WarnerMedia Company. All rights reserved.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

National News

Bodycam video released by authorities shows the good Samaritan trying to help the man on the tracks...
Tavleen Tarrant, CNN

Good Samaritan, NYPD officers rescue man from subway tracks moments before train arrives

A good Samaritan, who was at the right place at the right time, and a team of New York City officers who rushed on scene rescued a man who fell on the subway tracks just seconds before an incoming train arrived, police said.
1 day ago
"White Christmas" is a movie that has a lot of behind-the-scenes lore. (Paramount/Kobal/Shutterstoc...
AJ Willingham, CNN

The secrets behind your favorite Christmas movie classics

Watching Christmas movies is a whole tradition unto itself. Get to know some of the fascinating stories behind the stories so you can watch your old favorites with fresh eyes.
1 day ago
A memorial is seen at the site of a fatal shooting in a Walmart on November 23, 2022 in Chesapeake,...
Ben Finley and and Matthew Barakat, Associated Press

Walmart shooter left ‘death note,’ bought gun day of killing

Authorities investigating the fatal shootings of six people at a Walmart said that the shooter bought the gun just hours before and left a note with grievances against coworkers on his phone.
1 day ago
A Ford sign sits outside of a dealership on January 25, 2022 in Chicago, Illinois. Ford Motor Co. a...
Associated Press

Ford recalls over 634K SUVs due to fuel leaks and fire risk

Ford is recalling over 634,000 SUVs worldwide because a cracked fuel injector can spill fuel or leak vapors onto a hot engine and cause fires.
1 day ago
The Twitter headquarters signage as seen on 10th Street on November 4, 2022 in San Francisco, Calif...
Kelvin Chan, AP Business Writer

Musk plans to relaunch Twitter premium service, again

Elon Musk says that Twitter plans to relaunch its premium service that will offer different colored check marks to accounts next week.
1 day ago
Discount signs are displayed on products at a Macy's store during Black Friday on November 25, 2022...
Anne D'Innocenzio, AP Retail Writer

Inflation hovers over shoppers heading into Black Friday

Black Friday marks a return to familiar holiday shopping patterns, but inflation is weighing on consumers.
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

house with for rent sign posted...
Chase Harrington, president and COO of Entrata

Top 5 reasons you may want to consider apartment life over owning a home

There are many benefits of renting that can be overshadowed by the allure of buying a home. Here are five reasons why renting might be right for you.
Festive kitchen in Christmas decorations. Christmas dining room....
Lighting Design

6 Holiday Decor Trends to Try in 2022

We've rounded out the top 6 holiday decor trends for 2022 so you can be ahead of the game before you start shopping. 
Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to choose what MBA program is right for you: Take this quiz before you apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
Diverse Group of Energetic Professionals Team Meeting in Modern Office: Brainstorming IT Programmer...
Les Olson

Don’t let a ransomware attack get you down | Protect your workplace today with cyber insurance

Business owners and operators should be on guard to protect their workplace. Cyber insurance can protect you from online attacks.
Hand turning a thermostat knob to increase savings by decreasing energy consumption. Composite imag...
Lighting Design

5 Lighting Tips to Save Energy and Money in Your Home

Advances in lighting technology make it easier to use smart features to cut costs. Read for tips to save energy by using different lighting strategies in your home.
Portrait of smiling practitioner with multi-ethnic senior people...
Summit Vista

How retirement communities help with healthy aging

There are many benefits that retirement communities contribute to healthy aging. Learn more about how it can enhance your life, or the life of your loved ones.
US gas hits a record high of $4.17 a gallon; Utah still below record