HOUSTON — Gasoline prices reached a grim milestone on Saturday, as the national average for regular gasoline reached $5 a gallon.
Summer gasoline is nearly always more expensive because demand for fuel takes off around Memorial Day weekend. But this year oil and refined fuel prices have risen to their highest levels in 14 years, due largely to the Russian invasion of Ukraine and resulting sanctions, and a rebound in energy use as the economy recovers from the coronavirus pandemic.
The national average price of gasoline on Saturday was $5.00, up 60 cents from a month ago. A year ago, gas sold for $3.08, according to the AAA motor club. The national average has been at its highest point since March, when it went above its previous record set in July 2008, when oil was trading at more than $133 a barrel. That was more than ten dollars above the current level without even accounting for inflation. Back then, the national average gasoline price was $4.11, or about $5.37 a gallon in today’s dollars.