Average U.S. gas prices jumped to $4.009 per gallon Sunday, the highest since late July 2008, as Russia contends with the fallout of global sanctions for invading Ukraine.
The average price, calculated by AAA, soared 11 percent over the past week alone. Gas was an average of $3.604 one week ago and just $2.760 one year ago.
The current cost of gas is the highest since gas prices hit a record $4.114 a gallon on July 17, 2008, according to automobile club data cited by Reuters. At that time, U.S. crude futures jumped to a record $147.27 a barrel.
Californians are paying the most at the pump, where gas is an average of $5.288, according to AAA. In Los Angeles and San Francisco, average gas prices have reached $5 for regular fuel, while some stations are reportedly selling premium gas for more than $7 a gallon.
Hawaii, where gas is $4.695, is the second most expensive, while Nevada and Oregon round out the top four with an average of $4.526 and $4.466 respectively, according to AAA data.
Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis for GasBuddy, told USA Today that more cities are likely to see prices hit $5 a gallon in the coming weeks. He added in a tweet on Saturday: “To make it implicitly clear, this is the cost of bipartisan sanctions on Russia for their war on Ukraine.”
He said prices soaring to an average of $4 a gallon “was unlikely to have happened without Russian action.”
GasBuddy said last week’s increase of 41 cents per gallon was the second largest ever, behind only a jump of 49 cents per gallon during the week of September 3, 2005 in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.
GasBuddy predicts a national average price of $4.25 by Memorial Day, higher than the current record of $4.10, unless something significant changes.
“Seasonal factors including increased demand for gas, refinery maintenance and the switch to summer blend gas, on top of current geopolitical tensions, could propel prices upward of $4.25 per gallon by Memorial Day,” GasBuddy said in a statement.
Meanwhile last week, President Biden announced that the U.S. and 30 other countries were working to release 60 million barrels of oil from strategic reserves around the world, including 30 million barrels from America’s Strategic Petroleum Reserve to “help blunt gas prices here at home.”