Gas Prices Could Rise Even Higher After Russia Invades Ukraine
Los Angeles County gas prices have been setting records for weeks. The average price of a gallon of self-service regular unleaded hit $4.82 on Thursday in the LA and Long Beach areas.
Crude oil prices have soared to more than $105 a barrel — the first time oil has surpassed triple digits since 2014 — after Russia attacked major Ukrainian cities last night. Just over a week ago, oil remained at $90 a barrel.
Experts say the war could drive prices even higher, with Russia being the third-largest oil producer globally. Now, uncertainty looms over the global supply.
"The question is whether the oil will continue to flow in gas, through the pipelines that run through Ukraine that reach Europe," said USC business professor Shon Hiatt.
Hiatt says if the oil and natural gas stops, it could worsen the ongoing global supply shortage, driving up prices at the pump.
In a statement, the Auto Club of Southern California said, "If that trend continues, we could see gas prices start going up more quickly."
On Tuesday, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said Germany would stop the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline certification from Russia after Russian President Vladimir Putin sent armed forces to the separatist regions of the Donetsk and Luhansk People's Republics.
In an address to the nation on Thursday, President Biden said his administration's top priority was to shield American families and businesses from rising gas prices.
"We're taking active steps to bring down the cost, and American oil and gas companies should not — should not — exploit this moment to hike their prices to raise profits," the president said.