Just two months after Virginia’s gas prices hit an all-time high, the average price per gallon of gasoline is set to eclipse that record again.
According to the American Automobile Association (AAA), the average price for a gallon of gas in Virginia was $4.22 on Monday, just three cents shy of the state’s March 11 record of $4.25.
Over the past month months, gas dipped below $4.00 per gallon after President Joe Biden issued an emergency waiver in mid-April allowing gas stations to sell gasoline with 15 percent ethanol. That move was made to ease the burden faced nationwide at the pump.
But that move had only a temporary and slight impact.
One week ago, the average price of gas had again surpassed $4.00 per gallon, rising to $4.05 per gallon. Sunday, the average price per gallon was $4.21.
In Virginia, Governor Glenn Youngkin (R) proposed a gas tax holiday to lower prices at the pump, but that plan was shot down by the State Senate at the end of April.
One year ago, a gallon of gasoline in Virginia cost an average of $2.76 per gallon.
The Gasoline Misery Index keeps track of how much more or less Americans are paying at the pump on an annualized basis. As of May 6, Americans were on track to pay an average of $704 more per year to fill their tanks than they were last year.
For its part, the White House has attempted to shift the blame for rising gas prices onto Russian President Vladimir Putin.
“Putin’s invasion of Ukraine has driven up gas prices and food prices all over the world,” Biden said in April. “So everything is going up. We saw it in today’s inflation data. Seventy percent of the increase in prices in March came from Putin’s price hike in gasoline.”
The Biden administration ceased the import of Russian oil – which accounts for about three percent of American oil imports – despite the spike in prices at the pump.
But gas prices were rising well before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which began in February.
According to the U.S. Energy Information Agency, gas prices nationwide averaged $2.42 per gallon in January of 2021, when Biden took office.
By the time Russia invaded Ukraine in February, a gallon of gas already averaged $3.41 per gallon, almost a full dollar more than when Biden took office.
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Pete D’Abrosca is a reporter at The Virginia Star and The Star News Network. Email tips to [email protected].
Photo “Glenn Youngkin” by Glenn Youngkin. Background Photo “Gas Pumps at BP Station” by Ben Schumin. CC BY-SA 2.0.