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NPR News

Sticker shock: Gasoline tops $4.17 a gallon, a new record

Gas prices are displayed on a sign at a gas station on March 3, 2022 in Hampshire, Il.
Scott Olson
/
Getty Images
Gas prices are displayed on a sign at a gas station on March 3, 2022 in Hampshire, Il.

The national average for a gallon of regular gasoline is now 4.17 according to AAA. That surpasses the previous record set in the summer of 2008, when not accounting for inflation.

U.S. gasoline prices set a new national record on Tuesday as global crude prices have surged following Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

The average cost of a gallon of regular fuel is now $4.173, according to AAA. That's the highest ever recorded, not accounting for inflation, surpassing the $4.114 high-water mark set in the summer of 2008. (That would be about $5.37 in today's dollars.)

Crude prices have surged this week after the U.S. signaled it may restrict Russia's energy exports.

The U.S. and its allies have imposed intense financial sanctions on Russia after the country's invasion of Ukraine, but have so far avoided directly targeting Russian energy shipments.

Gas prices had already been climbing for months, driven by a fundamental mismatch between global demand for oil – which recovered rapidly from early-pandemic lows – and global supply, which has returned more slowly.

Rising energy costs fuel inflation, which is already at 40-year highs. A recent NPR-Marist survey found that 83% of Americans support financial sanctions on Russia, and 69% say they would continue to support such sanctions even if energy prices rise.

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