National gas price average nears $5 per gallon
The national average price for a gallon of gas neared $5 on Wednesday, according to AAA.
After weeks of soaring gas prices, Wednesday’s numbers showed the national average at $4.955.
Several states, including Nevada, Arizona and Illinois, saw average prices significantly higher than $5 per gallon. In California, which had the highest price among all 50 states, the average price per gallon of gas climbed to $6.39 on Wednesday.
Even in Southern states, where gas is typically cheaper, prices were up to an average of $4.485 per gallon in Mississippi and $4.598 per gallon in Alabama.
Some states in the Midwest saw similar prices, with Kansas having an average price per gallon of $4.563 and Oklahoma $4.54 per gallon.
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has had a significant impact on oil markets and gas prices worldwide.
“Given the global nature of these markets, it’s virtually impossible for us to insulate ourselves from shocks like the ones that are occurring in Russia that move global oil prices,” Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen told the Senate Finance Committee on Tuesday.
Even after a jump in prices as governments turned away energy supplies from Russia amid its invasion Ukraine, gas prices have continued to climb, with some experts attributing later increases to fewer oil refiners making crude oil into gasoline, among other factors.
“With the market currently really tight both in diesel and jet fuel, we’re actually seeing refineries choose to make less gasoline in favor of those more profitable molecules,” Matt Kimmel, a senior research analyst for refining and oil markets at Wood Mackenzie, told The Hill last month.
Even so, commuters and travelers are still heading to the pump, despite the surging prices.
“At some point, drivers may change their daily driving habits or lifestyle due to these high prices, but we are not there yet,” Andrew Gross, a spokesperson for AAA, said in a previous statement.