Gas Prices Rise Again In The Southland, With A Potential Russian Invasion of Ukraine Looming Large
Fuel now costs on average $4.77 for a gallon of regular unleaded in the Los Angeles and Long Beach Areas — up three cents from a week and setting a record high for the 10th time in the last 11 days.
Doug Shupe of AAA of Southern California attributes the price increase to local demand combined with international politics. With more than 100,000 Russian military personnel surrounding Ukraine's border, oil prices have remained above $90 a barrel.
"And unfortunately, it doesn't look like drivers will see this trend changing anytime soon," said Shupe.
Russia is one of the world's largest crude oil producers and Shupe notes Russian leaders could withhold crude oil from the global market. That could be triggered if the U.S. and NATO-aligned countries apply sanctions to Russia, which is the second-largest producer of the OPEC oil cartel. Russia, while not an OPEC member, does maintain close ties with the 15 member nations.
"Crude oil prices have gone up more than $10 per barrel over the last month. We're going to continue to watch this situation hoping that we will see those crude oil prices start to move a little bit lower which would give some relief to drivers at the pump," said Shupe.
Shupe advises consumers to increase their fuel efficiency by maintaining their cars. That includes making sure tires are inflated and getting rid of extra weight.
(We're looking at all the folks who still have giveaway books and clothes from pandemic-cleaning sprees in the trunk and back seats.)