Gas Prices Break New Record After Brief Reprieve

Off the Charts: The Visual Says It All

Man Filling Up Gas Tank

Kosamtu / Getty Images

U.S. gas prices reached a new record high Tuesday, erasing the modest relief seen in April.

Higher oil prices and increasing demand for gas pushed the average national price to $4.37 a gallon, according to data from AAA. As the chart below shows, the average has now surpassed the previous high of $4.33—fallout from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The price of crude oil, which accounts for more than half the price at the gas pump, reached almost $110 a barrel last week after falling below $100 in late April. (As of Tuesday, it was back down around $100.) Those increases as well as rising demand and lower supplies of gas have been pressing pump prices higher, AAA said. 

The national average for gas was $3.54 a gallon when Russia invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24. Sanctions against Russia proceeded to take as much as 3 million barrels of Russian oil off the market per day, increasing international oil demand and pushing prices higher. After the White House released oil saved in strategic reserves in late March, prices began to drop, but the downward trajectory was short-lived

The recent trajectory for diesel fuel, also made from oil, is even worse. Diesel, which powers the economy by fueling the trucks, ships, and planes that transport much of the country’s goods, has been breaking new records daily and hit $5.55 a gallon on Tuesday.

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