Drivers in the Chicago area will undoubtedly notice the changing prices at the gas pump lately, with prices climbing closer to $5 for many, reflecting a trend happening nationwide amid Russia's war on Ukraine.
As of Monday morning, the average price of gas in the Chicago area was $4.614, according to numbers published by AAA. That's up from the $4.525 average a day earlier.
Cook County was seeing the highest averages in the metro area, AAA reported. Some gas stations in Chicago were already reaching near $5 per gallon.
Across the state, the average price of gas had climbed to $4.304, remaining well above the national average of $4.065.
According to CNBC, the national rate of $4.009 on Sunday marked the highest level since July 2008, not adjusted for inflation.
While Illinois remains among the highest in the country, several West Coast states are seeing prices even higher.
California saw totals of $5.343 and Nevada saw prices at $4.590.
CNBC reports the underlying cost of oil accounts for more than 50% of the cost of gas that consumers put in their cars.
Prices have soared amid Russia's war on Ukraine, with GasBuddy reporting that sanctions aimed at crippling Russia’s ability to export crude oil spiked gas prices by nearly 41 cents in the last seven days alone. And some experts warn things may only get worse.
“This is a milestone that was hard to imagine happening so quickly, but with bipartisan support of severe sanctions on Russia, is not exactly surprising – it is the cost of choking off Russia from energy revenue,” Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis for GasBuddy, said in a statement. “As Russia’s war on Ukraine continues to evolve and we head into a season where gas prices typically increase, Americans should prepare to pay more for gas than they ever have before. Shopping and paying smart at the pump will be critical well into summer.”
According to GasBuddy, prices are expected to continue rising, potentially to a record high, through the summer months. Current forecasts predict the national average could reach $4.25 per gallon by Memorial Day.