Gas prices in the United States hit a record high on Tuesday as crude oil continues to remain above $100 per barrel, with some states seeing prices above $5 per gallon.
The average price for regular unleaded gas on May 10 was $4.374 per gallon, beating the earlier record of $4.331 per gallon set on March 11, according to data from the American Automobile Association (AAA). Compared to a week ago when the price was $4.204 per gallon, current gas prices are up by over 4 percent.
When compared to $4.116 per gallon a month ago, the May 10 price is up by over 6.26 percent. Gas prices have increased by over 47 percent from $2.967 per gallon a year ago.
The state with the highest average gas price is California, with the fuel being priced at $5.841 per gallon. In contrast, Georgia registered the lowest average gas price at $3.901 per gallon. In three states, gas per gallon was priced above $5 while in six states, gas was priced below $4 per gallon.
In the international market, Brent crude oil futures were trading at around $105 per barrel as of 14:35 UTC, with WTI crude oil futures following closely at about $103 per barrel.
“With the cost of oil accounting for more than half of the pump price, more expensive oil means more expensive gasoline,” Andrew Gross, AAA spokesperson, said in a May 9 post.
Already high oil prices spiked in the weeks after Russia began its invasion of Ukraine in February. Though prices have come down since then, they still remain elevated due to concerns about Europe’s potential ban on Russian oil.
According to Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy, liquid fuels have now become “liquid gold.” As the supply-demand imbalance widens with each passing day, gasoline prices are “spiraling out of control,” he says.
“Russia’s oil increasingly remains out of the market, crimping supply while demand rebounds ahead of the summer driving season,” De Haan said in a May 10 post by GasBuddy.
“There’s little, if any, good news about fuel prices heading into summer, and the problem could become worse should we see an above average hurricane season, which could knock out refinery capacity at a time we badly need it as refined product inventories continue to plummet.”
Data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) shows that domestic stockpiles of gasoline dipped by 2.2 million for the week ending April 29, with demand rising slightly by around 0.12 million barrels per day.
Meanwhile, the White House is trying to portray the high gas prices as solely being the consequence of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine. However, critics see Biden’s energy policies, like blocking the Keystone XL pipeline project and restricting drilling on federal lands, as creating a supply problem in the domestic market, making the United States once again dependent on foreign oil.