Gas Prices have spiked to over $4 a gallon as energy markets are rocked by Russia’s war in Ukraine, something that may be aggravated further if Congress adopts bipartisan calls to ban Russian oil. The fuel pricing analysis platform GasBuddy reported that the national average reached a 14-year high of $4.104 per gallon, surpassing the previous all-time high of $4.103 recorded in 2008.
The recent jump in Gas Prices is connected directly to Russia’s invasion and the international sanctions imposed on Moscow in response. There has been broad bipartisan support for those actions amid wide revulsion with Russian President Vladimir Putin’s war, leading to heavy civilian casualties as Russia hits non-military targets.
The question is how much patience American consumers will show for higher prices at the pump that are partly a product of what many in the political class see as a just response to Russian aggression. Prices were already high before the most recent crisis and were causing political problems for President Biden and the White House, battered by complaints about inflation.Democrats think Biden will continue accumulating political hits from the historically high prices. Nearly 69% of Americans surveyed also said they still support the economic sanctions against Russia even if they result in higher energy prices in the U.S.
The U.S. currently has more than 9,000 unused oil and gas leases, although making use of those leases would not immediately start oil flowing from them. The number of American oil rigs has more than doubled since July 2020, from 172 to 519 as of last week. The number remains significantly below the 800 rigs recorded in 2019, however.