On Skyrocketing Gas Prices Amidst the War in Ukraine


Sydney Chan

Gas prices have risen past the amount that many Americans can realistically afford.

regular: $6.21 9/10

plus: $6.23 9/10

supreme: $6.25 9/10

If you’ve filled up your car during the last few weeks, you’ve may have seen record high gas prices such as these at your local gas station. So, what caused this huge uptick in gas prices, and is there an end in sight?

The current average cost per gallon in the US is $4.325 for regular gas, in contrast to a year ago today, when it was $2.852. The country hasn’t seen such high prices since the 2008 financial crisis. However, California has the highest fuel prices in the country due to high gas taxes and environmental legislation designed to combat and prevent pollution. On Friday, March 11, prices averaged $5.72/gallon across California.

One study found that $4 was likely the tipping point nationally; 59% of Americans would make lifestyle or driving changes if the gas prices reached that level.

Since the beginning of the Russian war on Ukraine, few countries have been purchasing oil from Russia. On Tuesday, March 8, President Biden announced a ban on Russian oil imports in the United States. Very little of Russia’s oil supply goes to the United States, but the global supply of oil still plummeted and led to the skyrocketing prices. 

The costs are so high that they are changing the way some companies approach pricing. Uber, for example, has added an additional fuel charge for each ride—45 cents or 55 cents—to be paid directly to the drivers. UberEats has done the same, but with a slightly smaller cost. 

It remains to be seen how long these high prices will endure. Some say that we may be paying these prices through Labor Day. Others have pointed to the plateauing costs as indication that the peak of the problem may have passed. More will become clear in the approaching weeks.