Nightly News | February 22, 2011
>>> we have more on the chaos in libya, and how it hits home. drivers in california, alaska, hawaii are already paying more than $3.50 a gallon for regular unleaded. some other places too. and the danger is, the rest of the country could start seeing those prices steadily. that could have a big nasty effect on the economy as a whole. our report from nbc's tom costello.
>> reporter: with 44 billion barrels of oil underground, libya has the largest oil reserves in africa. but accounts for less than 2% of oil exports . oil and gas prices have shot up mostly on fear the unrest will spread. a barrel of oil for april delivery today surged more than $5 to $95 a barrel. the highest levels since 2008 . at the pump, regular unleaded is now averaging 3.$3.17 a gallon up 5 cents in a week. diesel is up 14 skrint cents in just a month. we found daniel bailey hauls fruit and vegetables.
>> we're spending more on fuel than what we're making to live on.
>> reporter: higher prices for everything else, food, clothing, you name it.
>> now the predictions are for 3.30 to $4 a gallon by the summer. if the turmoil in the middle east continues?
>> if the turmoil were to spread to saudi arabia , which supplies the world with 10% of its supply. we could see gasoline prices rise to 4 to $5 a gallon.
>> reporter: that could cause serious damage to the economy.
>> it hits businesses like airlines, and in general, it takes spending out of the economy at a time when we need more spending in our economy.
>> reporter: real americans paying the price for revolution. tom costello for nbc news, washington.