The site’s previous highest ever recorded national price for a gallon of gasoline was set on July 17, 2008, at $4.103. On Monday, AAA’s national average saw a 45-cent increase in a week.
The Associated Press points out that the record gas price of 2008 would actually be about $5.24 when inflation is taken into account.
Right now, there is no indication of when gas prices will peak.
“It’s a house of cards, and I think it’s fallen at this point,” said Lynda Lambert, a spokesperson from AAA East Central.
Lambert said it’s not just the Russian invasion of Ukraine that is impacting the price at the pump.
Prices were already high and expected to hit $4 by Memorial Day before the Ukrainian crisis.
“All trends are pointing to prices continuing to increase,” Lambert shared with WJW.
She explained a few key factors that have kept gas prices high.
“We were already having a bit of a shortage of gasoline. During the pandemic, demand went so low, refineries backed off how much they were producing,” she said.
While the supply is not where it should be, the demand is also going up, Lambert said.
She also said there are continued supply chain issues and delivery driver shortages. The primary cause is the Russian invasion, even though America hasn’t sanctioned Russia’s oil production.
“Russia’s invasion and the responding escalating series of financial sanctions by the U.S. and its allies have given the global oil market the jitters,” said AAA spokesperson Andrew Gross.
Oil importers and shippers have issued a “de facto ban” on Russian oil, according to Tom Kloza, chief global analyst for the Oil Price Information Service.
That’s decreasing the overall global supply, he told USA Today.
It’s also driving up the price of a barrel of oil.
The price of crude oil accounts for 50% to 60% of what you pay at the pump.
The other costs that go into the total include state taxes, federal taxes, refinery costs and distribution and marketing.
The federal gasoline tax is 18.3 cents per gallon.
While the U.S Strategic Petroleum Reserve is the world’s largest emergency stockpile of oil, the federal government is unlikely to deplete it to lower the price of gas.
It can house up to 714 million barrels of oil.
The U.S. consumes about 15 to 20 million barrels of oil per day, according to Department of Energy estimates.
The White House released 30 million barrels from the stockpile last week for short-term relief.