CAMARILLO, Calif. – The average U.S. price of regular-grade gasoline shot up a whopping 79 cents over the past two weeks to a record-setting $4.43 per gallon (3.8 liters) as Russia's invasion of Ukraine is contributing to already-high prices at the pump.
Industry analyst Trilby Lundberg of the Lundberg Survey said Sunday the new price exceeds by 32 cents the prior all-time high of $4.11 set in July 2008.
In today's dollars, the previous record would be equal to $5.30 a gallon, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics' inflation calculator.
The price at the pump is $1.54 higher than it was a year ago.
Lundberg said gas prices are likely to remain high in the short term as crude oil costs soar amid global supply concerns following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Prices at the pump were rising long before Russia invaded Ukraine as post-lockdown demand has pushed prices higher. Crude prices plummeted in early 2020 as economies around the world shut down because of COVID-19 — the price of futures even turned negative, meaning some sellers were paying buyers to take oil. Prices rebounded, however, as demand recovered faster than producers pulled oil out of the ground and inventories dried up.
Then, the price increase accelerated after war began.
Energy prices are also contributing to the worst inflation that Americans have seen in 40 years, far outpacing higher wages.
Nationwide, the highest average price for regular-grade gas is in the San Francisco Bay Area, at $5.79 per gallon. The lowest average is in Tulsa, Oklahoma, at $3.80 per gallon.
According to the survey, the average price of diesel also spiked, up $1.18 over two weeks, to $5.20 a gallon. Diesel costs $2.11 more than it did one year ago.
This story has been corrected to show that the inflation-adjusted dollar figure came from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, not Lundberg, and updates that figure from $5.24 to $5.30.