The average gas price in the U.S. hasn’t yet reached $5, but it’s rapidly heading in that direction.
According to GasBuddy, the average gas price in the U.S. jumped 13.6 cents in the last week, to $4.31 a gallon. After prices dropped several weeks in a row in late March and early April, the surge this week represents the third consecutive weekly increase.
The average now is 19.6 cents higher than that of a month ago, and $1.36 higher than a year ago. And not only that, but the average price of diesel has increased 22.6 cents in the last week, now coming in at $5.52 per gallon.
The gain took place as Russia’s war in Ukraine continued. Also, the price of oil went up as China reinstated some coronavirus restrictions.
“Gasoline and diesel prices alike saw strong upward momentum last week as oil prices continued to climb after the EU signaled its desire to sanction Russian oil. In addition, U.S. petroleum inventories saw yet another weekly decline as we near the start of summer driving season,” Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy, said in the release.
“Not only are diesel prices at a record high, they are at their largest differential to gasoline on record, surpassing the 98-cent difference in 2008 and currently standing at a $1.20 per gallon premium. While motorists filling with gasoline have seen a slight rise in prices, diesel’s surge will be a double whammy as diesel prices will soon be passed along to retail channels, further pushing up the cost of goods.”
In addition, U.S. crude oil inventories remain 15 percent lower than the five-year average for this time of year.
Last week, AAA released data showing that the national average gas price had risen by five cents, to $4.24 a gallon.
“According to new data from the Energy Information Administration, total domestic gasoline stocks decreased by 2.2 million bbl to 228.6 million bbl last week,” AAA said in the release. "However, gasoline demand increased slightly from 8.74 million b/d to 8.86 million b/d. Increasing gas demand and rising oil prices have pushed pump prices higher. Pump prices will likely face upward pressure as oil prices remain above $105 per barrel.”
AAA also said that the average gas price had risen by 30 cents over the course of a single week, while Ohio rose by 19 cents, Washington, D.C. increased by 18 cents, Pennsylvania and New Jersey rose by 17 cents each, and five states—Connecticut, Indiana, North Carolina, Vermont, and West Virginia—saw week-over-week rises of 16 cents per gallon.
Stephen Silver, a technology writer for The National Interest, is a journalist, essayist and film critic, who is also a contributor to The Philadelphia Inquirer, Philly Voice, Philadelphia Weekly, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Living Life Fearless, Backstage magazine, Broad Street Review and Splice Today. The co-founder of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle, Stephen lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife and two sons. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenSilver.