WASHINGTON — A gallon of gas in the U.S. costs, on average, $5 for the first time in the nation's history, according to price tracker GasBuddy.
The platform tracks the price of gas at fuel stations across the U.S., and in 2022 has had increasingly alarming announcements about the national average price as the war in Ukraine and increased demand across the globe have sent prices skyrocketing.
For months, drivers have felt increasing pain at the pump, with some states such as California seeing prices above $6 per gallon. And as prices reach the $5 mark, they're unlikely to drop sson.
Americans, largely freed from the constraints of the COVID-19 pandemic, are preparing for summer road trips.
The high price of oil is the main cause of the biting gasoline prices. A barrel of U.S. benchmark crude was selling for over $100 a barrel Thursday, a price tag that has been climbing throughout the year.
The high price of oil is largely because many buyers are refusing to purchase Russian oil because of its invasion of Ukraine. The European Union has also set up a major embargo on oil from Russia, which is a major supplier. Those pressures leave less oil to go around.
Drivers such as Baxter say they wish the government could step in to help, although few can say what solution that would bring lasting relief.
"There are very few things that a president can do to help lower the cost of oil, and this administration tried to do pretty much everything that it can,” said Andrew Gross, spokesman for AAA, in an interview with the Associated press.
President Joe Biden released oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve in November and March, hoping to reduce prices. That helped temporarily, but prices shot back up and stayed stubbornly high.
The prices have surged even more than usual in recent weeks. U.S. gas supplies fell more than a billion gallons since the start of March.