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Look Out! Gasoline Prices Are Going Up Again

After a modest decline earlier this spring, gasoline prices are rising again the U.S., even though, by comparison, Americans pay far less per gallon than many other countries.
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Prices for a gallon of gasoline in the United States have been rising in recent weeks as Europe moves towards boycotting Russian oil and summer driving season approaches.

The average price for a gallon of regular gasoline in the U.S. was $4.328 at the start of the week, according to data from the American Automobile Association. That’s up from $4.194 a week ago and $4.123 in early April, according to AAA.

Gasoline prices surged in the immediate aftermath of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in late February, amid fears of a global shortage. Russia was the second largest exporter of oil in the world at the time of the invasion.

Prices stabilized somewhat after President Biden moved to begin regular releases from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve and as Europe continued to buy oil from Russia, even as the war went on.

In recent days, however, European leaders have moved closer to imposing a full boycott on Russian oil purchases. In addition, shipping companies are running into difficulties getting insurance for cargo from Russia’s Black Sea ports because of the ongoing conflict.

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U.S. gasoline prices are also driven by seasonal trends, notably during summer, when more people typically hit the road for vacation and other travel. A resurgent airline industry is also boosting demand for petroleum products.

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Notwithstanding the surge in U.S. gasoline prices, Americans generally run in the middle of the pack when compared with what other countries pay for gasoline.

In particular, U.S. consumers pay far less than most Europeans do for gasoline.

Gasoline prices average over $6 a gallon in Spain, France, Italy, the UK, Germany and several other countries in Europe, according to data compiled by Statista.

The cheapest places for gasoline tend to be in countries with substantial oil reserves and at least some refining capabilities. They include Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Iran, Russia and Venezuela. Gasoline prices average under $3 a gallon in those countries, according to Statistia.