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Average national gas prices hit new all-time high

The national average for gas prices hit a new record Tuesday at $4.37, without accounting for inflation, according to AAA data. 

The new milestone comes two months after the national average surpassed $4 for the first time in 14 years, and the average has not dipped below that price point in the meantime. 

While average prices are below $4 in several individual states, no single state has lower average prices than $3.90, according to AAA. Adjusted for inflation, the prices still remain below the 2008 peak, when the peak was equivalent to $5.37 a gallon in 2022 dollars.

Prices are highest in California, where gas is at $5.84 a gallon. A number of factors make Golden State’s gas prices higher than those of other states, including the lack of interstate fuel pipelines and an unexplained surcharge that has appeared on consumers’ bills in recent years.

While prices have been on the rise for months, the spikes in gas prices have been exacerbated by the global instability associated with the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The U.S. and other Western nations have taken a number of steps to sanction Russian oil, and most recently the European Union proposed a full ban on Russian oil imports after resisting for months due to its reliance on Russian energy. 

Gas prices fluctuate due to numerous factors outside the government’s control, but the Biden administration has taken several steps seeking to provide consumer relief, including the largest-ever release from the country’s Strategic Petroleum Reserve.  

The Environmental Protection Agency has also issued a waiver to allow the sale of ethanol-heavy fuels that are typically restricted during the summer, but those blends are only sold at just more than 200 stations nationwide.

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