Lynn Gates pumps gas at Shopper’s Express in Salt Lake City on Thursday, June 2, 2022. Gas prices in Utah averaged just over $5 per gallon for the first time on Thursday, June 9.

Kristin Murphy, Deseret News

Utah gas prices hit a new high on Thursday, with the average price for a gallon of regular topping $5 for the first time ever, according data from AAA.

National averages continue to set new records as well, with an average price per gallon of $4.97. Utah’s average price of $5.005 per gallon is up more than 50 cents from the average a month ago and nearly $1.63 from the price at the same time last year.

California boasts the highest gas prices in the nation. Its average of $6.40 per gallon is more than 80 cents higher than the next closest state — Nevada — at $5.59. Georgia has the lowest prices, at $4.41 per gallon.

Why is gas so expensive? The price of crude oil remains high — with Brent crude closing at $123.58 a barrel on Wednesday, per MarketWatch. Although the United States doesn’t import much oil from Russia, the invasion of Ukraine and subsequent sanctions by European nations have played a role in driving up higher global oil prices.

For every $10 increase in the cost for a barrel of crude, gas prices rise nearly 25 cents, according to CNET.

Oil prices aren’t the only driver of pain at the pump. As the summer travel season ramps up, demand for gasoline is helping push prices higher, and there doesn’t seem to be an obvious end in sight.

Tom Kloza, global head of energy analysis for the Oil Price Information Service, which tracks fuel prices for AAA, told CNN the national average for gas could approach $6 by the end of the summer, as travelers take long-anticipated trips.

“Anything goes from June 20 to Labor Day,” Kloza said. “Come hell or high gas prices, people are going to take vacations.”

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Source:: Deseret News – Utah News

      

Gas prices in Utah hit new record high, topping $5 for the first time

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