Gas prices soar to record levels across Washington state

Mar 7, 2022, 10:42 AM | Updated: 11:55 am

Gas prices...

Prices at the pump have continued to rise in Washington. (MyNorthwest photo)

(MyNorthwest photo)

In the last week, Washington gas prices have climbed to record highs, driven in large part by Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine.

Washington gas prices climb amid uncertainty with Russia

Regular unleaded gasoline in Washington averaged $3.12 a gallon in early March of 2021, according to data from AAA. On March 3, prices rose to $4.10 a gallon, before skyrocketing to an average of $4.45 as of Monday morning, marking the highest it has ever been statewide. That’s also up from the $3.96 a gallon the state was averaging one month ago.

Rates are even higher in the Seattle metropolitan area — covering Seattle, Bellevue, and Everett — where gas prices are averaging $4.63 a gallon. That’s up from $3.32 a gallon in March of 2021, and $4.18 just a week ago.

While gas prices have been rising steadily for the better part of the last month, the escalation of the ongoing conflict in Ukraine has accelerated that trend. It’s estimated that Russia provides roughly 10% of the world’s crude oil supply. On Monday, Reuters reported that the Biden administration could be planning to move forward with a ban on importing Russian oil, with or without the backing of European nations.

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“Any time we have this type of geopolitical tension, the oil markets, … they don’t respond well to this type of chaos,” AAA spokesperson Doug Shupe told CBS. “The reality is we don’t know how high these prices are going to go or when we’re going to see relief at the pumps.”

The situation has been similar across the United States, with the nation averaging $4.07 a gallon to start the week. The record for the country’s highest-ever gas prices was set in July of 2008, when the national average peaked at $4.11.

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