For more than a week, the national average for gasoline has reached a record price each day with Wednesday clocking in at $4.57 per gallon.
That’s 48 cents higher than a month ago and $1.53 more than a year ago, extreme increases that are driven by a lack of supply globally that’s been exacerbated by the war in Ukraine.
The latest spike is attributed to Europe trying to wean its dependency on Russian oil, an endeavor that is proving to be no small feat. The European Union is considering another round of sanctions on Moscow to reduce the amount of money flowing into Russian President Vladimir Putin’s war chest.
Domestically, fuel costs continue to act as a boa constrictor around Americans’ finances as they face the highest inflation in some four decades. The consumer price index, a measure of the price for everyday goods, rose to 8.3% in April.
California topped an average of $6 per gallon for the first time Wednesday, according to AAA. Data from the automobile association also showed that five other states — Washington, Oregon, Nevada, Alaska and Hawaii — have surpassed $5 per gallon.
The sky-high prices come as Democrats on Capitol Hill struggle to pass their first piece of legislation addressing the issue, which is an anti-price gouging measure that would have the Federal Trade Commission investigate whether Big Oil is purposefully ripping off consumers.
But skepticism from the party’s moderate rank, as well as members from oil-rich states like Texas, is threatening to derail the proposal.