Gas prices skyrocket due to Russia, other factors 


Rhea Rajeev

High gas prices at gas stations such as Exxon and Shell have reached high petroleum prices, and unsure when the prices will go back to normal.

Rhea Rajeev, Business Manager

In Virginia, petroleum prices have reached record highs in March at an average of $4.215 per gallon but have simmered down to an average price of $3.932 per gallon in April, AAA reported. This raises issues about why gasoline is so expensive, who is to blame and if the trend is going to continue to go down. 

“My family spends about $160 on gas weekly,” senior Caroline Mosocote said. “The gas prices are encouraging me to stay inside more to prevent wasting any gas.”

CBS News reports the rise in gas prices has most heavily impacted about half of the lower and middle-income class–those with a household income of less than $25,000 and from $25,000 to $100,000, respectively. Many families have cut back on items such as food, clothes and furniture to account for lost income on gas. They also don’t drive as much and only use their motor when necessary. 

According to FFXNOW, as gas prices continue to rise, Virginia is considering options for relief, including a three-month suspension of the state’s gas tax proposed by Governor Youngkin. 

NBC Chicago says about 20% of the U.S. oil supply comes from Russia. The Russian invasion of Ukraine resulted in the disruption of Russian energy exports, such as global energy and food prices. The resulting sanctions on Russia, the world’s third-largest producer of oil, have limited oil supplies to the U.S. and accounted for a 20% price spike, according to the BBC

“I don’t think gas prices are going to come down anytime soon,” junior Gowri Balagopal said. “The gap between the supply and demand has increased since the pandemic started because more people started traveling again, as well as the Russia-Ukraine war taking a toll on the gas prices.”
According to The Balance, gasoline prices rise and fall in lockstep with crude oil prices, though not always in the same way or to the same extent. Since oil is a worldwide commodity, its price is largely driven by global supply and demand. As economists are unable to predict when gas prices will go down, anticipating the reality of gas prices for the rest of the year is likely to be inconclusive, as there are far too many factors that are exceedingly volatile for experts to consider. 

WUSA9 said the White House reported in March that it would release 30 million barrels of oil in conjunction with the International Energy Agency. President Biden stated that laying a new basis for long-term American energy independence through renewable energy is essential. As billions of oil would be distributed across the country, the Strategic Petroleum Reserve states that this plan could potentially help reduce lower global energy prices as it would fill half of the inventory deficit, which would keep the prices in check. The release of the barrels is unprecedented in scope.

“I think prices will come down once we get a handle on what trajectory the Russia and Ukraine situation takes,” social studies teacher Joseph Clement said. “If, as we all hope, there is a peaceful resolution somewhere in the not-too-distant future, then I think much of that uncertainty will evaporate, which would bring down price expectations, calm future markets, and ultimately mean we pay less at the pump.”

With the efforts of Biden’s plan for the country and Youngskin’s plan for Virginia to reduce the gas prices, the trend is expected to go down and remain lower with gradual time. This will eventually go back to a steady and normal price. Also, if the conflict between Russia and Ukraine is resolved, then Russia will be able to resume importing gas into the US, further lowering gas prices, according to the Hill.

“While it’s unfortunate that gas prices are so high, it is important for us to take a stance against Russia to stand for peace,” Mosocote said.