Pain at the Pump: Gas Prices Breach $4 Mark and Continue To Rise

Young Caucasian White long-haired woman refueling a car at the gas station. stock photo
Alex Potemkin /

America’s worst fears about gasoline prices have come true ahead of the spring and summer travel seasons, as prices at the pump surged above $4 a gallon over the weekend and continued to rise Monday morning.

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The average price of regular gasoline was $4.065 a gallon as of Monday morning, according to AAA. That’s the highest price in more than a decade. Prices first breached $4 on Sunday, at an average of $4.009 a gallon. The latest price is up from $3.610 a week ago, $3.441 a month ago and $2.768 a year ago.

As those figures show, gasoline prices have been rising steadily over the last year amid global supply-chain disruptions and a refusal on the part of leading oil producers such as OPEC to release more reserves. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has put even more pressure on global oil markets.

“American and (European Union) sanctions are having a severe impact on Russia’s ability to sell crude oil, thus crude prices have skyrocketed,” Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis at fuel-savings app GasBuddy, told USA Today.

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DeHaan said in a tweet that the national gasoline average could hit $4.10 a gallon by Tuesday, which would put it close to the record high of $4.11 set in July 2008, USA Today reported.

The price spike probably won’t end there, either. GasBuddy projects that the average price will reach $4.25 a gallon by May and probably stay above $4 until at least November. 

The current national average is a bargain compared to what consumers in some states pay — particularly those on the West Coast. California’s average was $5.343 a gallon early Monday, according to AAA. In Hawaii the average was $4.699, and in Nevada it was $4.590. Oregon, Washington and Alaska also had average prices of $4.40 or higher.

The cheapest prices — at $3.750 a gallon or lower — were largely concentrated in the Midwest and prairie states.

See: White House Considers Federal Gas Tax Holiday as Oil Prices Approach $100 a Barrel
Read: How Filling Up on Specific Days Could Save You $100 Annually

Gas prices have shot higher even after the International Energy Agency, which includes the United States and other major economies, recently said it will deploy 60 million barrels of oil stockpiles to help ease oil prices that have surged above $100 a barrel.

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About the Author

Vance Cariaga is a London-based writer, editor and journalist who previously held staff positions at Investor’s Business Daily, The Charlotte Business Journal and The Charlotte Observer. His work also appeared in Charlotte Magazine, Street & Smith’s Sports Business Journal and Business North Carolina magazine. He holds a B.A. in English from Appalachian State University and studied journalism at the University of South Carolina. His reporting earned awards from the North Carolina Press Association, the Green Eyeshade Awards and AlterNet. In addition to journalism, he has worked in banking, accounting and restaurant management. A native of North Carolina who also writes fiction, Vance’s short story, “Saint Christopher,” placed second in the 2019 Writer’s Digest Short Short Story Competition. Two of his short stories appear in With One Eye on the Cows, an anthology published by Ad Hoc Fiction in 2019. His debut novel, Voodoo Hideaway, was published in 2021 by Atmosphere Press.
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