After days of dramatically rising gasoline prices following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the national average for a gallon of gasoline is the highest in U.S. history, beating a record that stood for nearly 14 years.
On Tuesday morning, the cost of regular gasoline was $4.17, according to AAA, compared to $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 current record does not take inflation into account.
The cost of diesel is approaching the record high of $4.84, also set in July 2008. The price of a gallon of diesel is $4.75, more than double what it was in October 2020.
The invasion of Ukraine by the Russian armed forces is one of the main components of the rising costs. Tom Kloza, chief global analyst for the Oil Price Information Service, told USA TODAY that Russia is the world’s second largest oil producer, behind the United States.
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The Associated Press reported that a barrel of U.S. crude cost $119.40 a barrel, and Brent crude, the international standard, cost $123.21 a barrel on Monday.
Gas prices are expected to continue to rise. Fuel-saving app GasBuddy predicts prices will likely average $4.25 in May and stay above $4 through November.
“Americans have never seen gas prices so high, and we’ve never seen the pace of increases so fast and furious. This combination makes this situation all the more remarkable and intense, with crippling sanctions against Russia that are curbing its flow of oil, causing a massive spike in the price of all fuels: gasoline, diesel, jet fuel and more,” Patrick De Haan, director of oil analysis at GasBuddy, said Monday in a statement.
De Haan said in a tweet on Sunday the odds of a $5 national average are “somewhat remote” but still a small possibility.
The most expensive gasoline in the USA
As is historically the case, California has the most expensive prices in the country, averaging $5.44 a gallon on Tuesday. Only Golden State averages more than $5 a gallon.
The most expensive county for gas is Mono County, which borders Nevada and includes the Mammoth Mountain tourist destination. The average price is $6.02.
Some gas stations reported prices about $2 above the state average. Stations in Los Angeles and San Francisco sell regular gasoline for over $6 a gallon, with some reaching nearly $7. In the town of Gorda, about 140 miles south of San Francisco on the coast, a station charged $7.59, KSBW reported.
As of Tuesday morning, 28 states had average prices above $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 gas costs 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)
Contributors: Mike Snider, Brett Molina
Follow Jordan Mendoza on Twitter: @jordan_mendoza5.