Gas Prices Surge Amid Russian Invasion of Ukraine

The national average price for gasoline is steadily increasing, smashing records as a consequence of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The price of gas in the United States has been quite high ever since the 2008 financial crisis, as well as the oil crises of 1973 and 1979. Although prices never returned to those levels, and have only increased since then, the onset of the Russo-Ukrainian War has caused a spike in the price per gallon of gasoline, according to the AAA. 

Since March 8th, the average price per gallon of gas has reached $4.17, the highest average price recorded, not accounting for inflation rates in the United States. That price was up from $4.07 March 28th, and $3.61 a week prior. The rising prices have led to an increase in crimes involving the sale of gas, though the rising prices have led to some good, too.

Rising gas prices have led policymakers to consider alternative energy sources, such as electric car charging stations, and incorporating flexible fuels like ethanol into gas pumps. U.S. Senator Bob Menendez of New Jersey spoke on the introduction of a federal spending bill directed toward electric vehicle charging stations: “It will help ease our transition to electric vehicles, reduce emissions, and create a cleaner environment for our children,” he said. The increase in electric charging stations directly correlates to the increase in sales of cars powered by alternative fuels, such as those powered by an electric charge, or cars that use more eco-friendly fuels such as ethanol. 

Although the positives of the surge in gas prices certainly are a relief, there are several downsides to this as well. Increased gas prices take a toll on families that travel—the constant need to purchase gas costs time and money, which is money that many families don’t have, as the COVID-19 pandemic has seen millions lose their jobs and rely on government stimulus checks. This money that could be spent on other goods and services is instead used for gas, creating a ripple effect that could hit hard in many industries