Russia’s invasion of Ukraine sparked gasoline prices to rise by more than 11 cents per gallon since Monday, AAA said Wednesday, pushing the cost to more than $5 and higher in some locations.
The national average for a gallon of regular gasoline reached $3.72, the auto club said. According to Energy Information Administration, the total domestic gasoline stocks decreased by 500,000 barrels to 246 million barrels last week.
Demand for gasoline, though, increased from 8.66 million barrels per day to 8.74 million barrels per day, creating the perfect storm to drive up gasoline prices.
The West Coast led the nation in gasoline prices, going for an average of $4.311 for a gallon, according to the EIA. The central Atlantic region was next with an average of $3.712. Gasoline prices in all regions of the United States are up at least 80 centers per gallon from a year ago.
“San Francisco just made history as the first-ever U.S. city to reach an average of $5 gas,” Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis for GasBuddy, said in a statement. “And unfortunately, this record is likely just the beginning of a larger trend of price spikes to come to California and the entire country.
“While Bay Area prices might be leading the way, for now, there’s a possibility here for the entire state of California to follow suit, with gas prices potentially rising over the $5 mark this spring.”
Contributing to California’s high prices at the pump is the state gasoline tax of 51.1 cents the gallon, the highest in the country.
One Shell gas station in Portland, Ore., offered regular gas at $6.29 per gallon.
“Shell-branded operators are independent business people who make their own operating decisions and set gasoline prices as they believe appropriate,” a Shell spokesperson told KPTV. “While we do not have control of prices at independently owned Shell-branded stations, we do encourage them to act responsibly when setting prices at the pump.”
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