Gas prices jump 8 cents one day after breaking record; diesel prices now highest ever

One day after the record for the average cost of gas nationwide was broken, prices at the pump continued to climb on Wednesday, jumping an average of 8 cents. 

The national average for a regular gallon of gas is now $4.25, according to AAA. On Tuesday, the cost was $4.17, breaking the July 2008 record of $4.11, which would be around $5.25 today when adjusted for inflation.

Aside from inflation and loosened COVID-19 restrictions leading people to venture out more, Russia's invasion of Ukraine remains a large factor behind rising prices. Sanctions put on Russia include the country's selling of crude oil, which is one of the biggest factors in determining gas prices. 

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Russian crude oil only accounts for 3% of U.S. imports, but it has a big role because it produces "heavier, sour crude" oil, according to Ramanan Krishnamoorti, a professor at the University of Houston. He added Russia's oil is also needed because U.S. refineries are not designed to use only light, sweet crude oil.

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U.S. crude oil costs $125.52 per barrel, while Brent crude, the international standard, costs $130.33 per barrel on Tuesday night, according to Bloomberg. Prices are likely to climb after President Joe Biden announced a ban on the U.S. import of all Russian energy products on Tuesday.

"Consumers can expect the current trend at the pump to continue as long as crude prices climb," AAA said on Monday

Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis at fuel-savings app GasBuddy, told CNN on Tuesday "we could see a national average of $5 a gallon" based on the situation in Ukraine, days after saying it was a "somewhat remote" possibility. 

Other factors in the rising gas total include the increased demand while total supply drops.

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Diesel price reaches all-time high

Regular gas price records aren't the only ones being broken.

The national average price for a gallon of diesel is now $4.88, according to AAA, breaking the record for the most expensive diesel cost, not adjusting for inflation. The previous high was $4.84 on July 17, 2008, which would be around $6.19 in today's dollars.

Diesel prices have seen a more dramatic jump in cost than regular gas, with the national average gallon of diesel at $4.75 on Tuesday, just seven days after it was $4.01.

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Gas prices in West Hollywood, Calif., on March 8, 2022.

Most expensive, least expensive states for gas

California continues to have the highest average at $5.57 as of Wednesday and remains the only state to have an average over $5. Mono County near the Nevada border continues to have the most expensive gas in the Golden State at $6.14.

On the other side of the spectrum, Oklahoma and Kansas are tied for the cheapest average at $3.79 per gallon.

How much is gas in my state?

As of Wednesday, only 15 states have an average price less than $4. Here is the average price of gas in each state, per AAA data, in alphabetical order:

  • Alabama: $4.04
  • Alaska: $4.58
  • Arizona: $4.39
  • Arkansas: $3.84
  • California: $5.57
  • Colorado: $3.91
  • Connecticut: $4.41
  • Delaware: $4.25
  • Florida: $4.21
  • Georgia: $4.16
  • Hawaii: $4.77
  • Idaho: $4.17
  • Illinois: $4.52
  • Indiana: $4.23
  • Iowa: $3.89
  • Kansas: $3.79
  • Kentucky: $4.01
  • Louisiana: $4.03
  • Maine: $4.25
  • Maryland: $4.23
  • Massachusetts: $4.30
  • Michigan: $4.24
  • Minnesota: $3.92
  • Mississippi: $3.92
  • Missouri: $3.80
  • Montana: $3.95
  • Nebraska: $3.87
  • Nevada: $4.77
  • New Hampshire: $4.23
  • New Jersey: $4.32
  • New Mexico: $4.11
  • New York: $4.43
  • North Carolina: $4.12
  • North Dakota: $3.86
  • Ohio: $4.07
  • Oklahoma: $3.79
  • Oregon: $4.66
  • Pennsylvania: $4.39
  • Rhode Island: $4.28
  • South Carolina: $4.02
  • South Dakota: $3.87
  • Tennessee: $4.04
  • Texas: $3.93
  • Utah: $4.19
  • Vermont: $4.26
  • Virginia: $4.18
  • Washington: $4.63
  • West Virginia: $4.06
  • Wisconsin: $3.99
  • Wyoming: $3.92

Follow Jordan Mendoza on Twitter: @jordan_mendoza5.

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