The US set a new record for gas prices this week when the average cost at the pumps topped $4 a gallon in all 50 states for the first time ever.
The milestone was met Tuesday after Georgia, Kansas and Oklahoma became the last three states to surpass the $4 per gallon mark, according to a new report from AAA auto club.
The national average reached $4.52 a gallon, up 44 cents from a month ago and nearly $1.50 from a year ago. The most expensive prices are at California gas stations, which sell regular gas at a whopping $6.02 a gallon on average, according to AAA data.
New Yorkers are also draining their wallets at the pump. The statewide average rose nearly a whole quarter in just a week to about $4.81 per gallon for regular.
The skyrocketing prices — which are expected to get worse as the summer approaches — are due primarily to the high cost of crude oil, which is hovering near $110 a barrel, according to the AAA report.
“The high cost of oil, the key ingredient in gasoline, is driving these high pump prices for consumers,” AAA spokesperson Andrew Gross said. “Even the annual seasonal demand dip for gasoline during the lull between spring break and Memorial Day, which would normally help lower prices, is having no effect this year.”
Inflation paired with the Russian invasion of Ukraine and its economic fallout have slammed global energy markets, costing car owners at the pumps.
President Joe Biden attempted to alleviate the burden of gas costs on US motorists by releasing tens of millions of barrels of oil from the strategic reserve, but that measure has had little sustained impact on prices.
Demand for gasoline is expected to rise as more Americans travel during the summer months.