Gasoline prices have surged higher as winter weather has enveloped much of the U.S. and escalating tensions with Russia have helped push up the price of oil.
The price of Brent, the global benchmark fell by nearly half a percentage point on Monday but remains above $90 per barrel, nearly $30 more than in August. The price was around $10 less when President Joe Biden announced that the U.S. would tap its strategic oil reserves in an effort to bring down the price.
“The recent cold weather in the U.S increased the demand for heating oil. Meanwhile, the concern that Russia will react to potential western sanctions by withholding crude oil from the already tight global market puts heavy upward pressure on prices,” AAA said on Monday.
The national average for a gallon of gas has surged to $3.44, eight cents more than a week ago and 98 cents more than a year ago. Gas was last this expensive in 2014.
“This shows how events on the other side of the globe can have a noticeable impact right here in the U.S,” said Andrew Gross, AAA spokesperson. “And unfortunately for drivers, they are reminded of this by higher prices at the pump.”
If crude prices continue to climb, pump prices will likely follow suit, AAA warned.
With many countries in Europe and Asia lifting travel restrictions, demand for oil is likely to pick-up, driving prices even higher.