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Gas prices soar to record high of $4.17 a gallon

The price of gas on Tuesday breaks the previous high of $4.10 a gallon, set in July 2008, hitting home for U.S. motorists the domestic consequences of Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Gas prices soared in the U.S. Tuesday to a record high of $4.17 for a gallon of unleaded, according to AAA, formerly the American Automobile Association.

That breaks the previous high of $4.10 a gallon, set in July 2008. When adjusted for inflation, that price would be about $5.37 in 2022. 

The average price across the country rose 10 cents in a day and 55 cents since last week, according to AAA data.

Pressure at the pump has only intensified since the Russian invasion of Ukraine two weeks ago and subsequent calls to ban Russian imports of oil. President Joe Biden announced Tuesday morning that the U.S. will ban imports of Russia oil and other energy products.

Biden touted the move as “another powerful blow to Putin’s war machine.” Though the ban will likely cause gas prices to increase yet again, Biden promised “to do everything I can to minimize Putin’s price hike here at home.”

He noted this was an action the U.S. has the flexibility to take because it produces more oil domestically than Europe. 

The high gas prices are happening in tandem with the elevated cost of crude oil. The price of Brent crude, an international benchmark, opened at $128.99 per barrel on Tuesday morning, a 4.6 percent increase from a month ago.

Russia was the world’s third-largest producer of petroleum products in 2020, after the U.S. and Saudi Arabia, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, and accounts for about a tenth of the global oil supply.

Last week, the International Energy Agency announced a coordinated release of crude oil from 31 member countries’ strategic reserves, which includes the U.S., Canada, South Korea, Mexico and Germany, to counter the soaring crude prices, the AAA said in a release Monday.

"Consumers can expect the current trend at the pump to continue as long as crude prices climb," the AAA said.