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How much has gasoline increased and how long will it continue to rise?

The price of gasoline across the United States has soared in response to the invasion of Ukraine and the resultant embargo on Russian fossil fuels.

Update:
The price of gasoline across the United States has soared in response to the invasion of Ukraine and the resultant embargo on Russian fossil fuels.
DENIS CHARLETAFP

The average price of gasoline stabilised over the weekend, dipping slightly below the mark of $4.33 per gallon which broke the United States’ record on Friday.

The brief respite after days of soaring prices for gasoline will have brought some comfort for consumers but the fact remains that the fuel costs have increased drastically over the past 12 months.

Currently the average price for a gallon of gasoline across the US is $4.32, an increase of $1.47 when compared to the same time last year. Most shockingly, the price has increased by $0.88 in little more than a month as the markets adjust to the ongoing conflict in Eastern Europe.

Andrew Gross, spokesperson for AAA, who calculate the national average, said in a statement: "Russia's invasion and the responding escalating series of financial sanctions by the US and its allies have given the global oil market the jitters.”

How high could the price of gasoline go?

The recent explosion in the price of gasoline is directly related to the disruption to the global supply of oil, brought about by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Russia has one of the world’s largest natural reserves of crude oil, a key component in the production of gasoline.

Last week’s announcement that the US was banning the importation of Russian fossil fuels was a major blow for consumers, but in reality many major American companies had already made the decision to boycott Russian suppliers.

"It's hard to give any assurances on where we're going, how high we'll get and when we'll get there," said Patrick de Haan from consumer group GasBuddy. "We really don't know at this point what will happen and what escalation could happen next to drive oil prices up again.”

The state with the highest average price of gasoline is California, which peaked at $5.44 per gallon in recent days. Some are concerned that a prolonged conflict in Ukraine and the resultant boycott of Russian oil could send prices much higher, but De Haan believes that is unlikely.

“For now, 98 or 99% of Americans don’t have to worry about $6 or $7 [per gallon], or some of those apocalyptic numbers,” he said.

And although the high price of gasoline is costing President Biden in the polls, numerous studies have found that the American people are willing to shoulder some economic hardship to impose sanctions on Russia and support Ukraine.

CBS News reports: “The overwhelming support for sanctions on Russia's oil and gas, and the willingness to pay more as a result, is the kind of widespread sentiment we don't always see in public opinion these days: bipartisan, cutting across race, region, and even income.”

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