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In 10 states, a gallon of gas now costs more than $5

Gas prices over $7.00 a gallon are displayed at a Chevron gas station in Menlo Park, Calif., on May 25.
Justin Sullivan
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Gas prices over $7.00 a gallon are displayed at a Chevron gas station in Menlo Park, Calif., on May 25.

U.S. gas prices hit a new record on Monday, with a gallon of regular gas costing an average of $4.865 (not adjusting for inflation), according to the most recent data from AAA.

The highest average price — $6.34 — is in California, but 10 states have now surpassed the $5 mark.

The higher prices hit hard in the past week, when Americans hit roads and highways for the Memorial Day holiday travel.

"People are still fueling up, despite these high prices," AAA spokesperson Andrew Gross said in a news release. "At some point, drivers may change their daily driving habits or lifestyle due to these high prices, but we are not there yet."

Where are the highest gas prices?

Consumers are paying more around the country: no state's average is below $4.28, according to AAA. Parts of the West, Midwest and Northeast are seeing some of the nation's highest gas costs.

Here are the 5 states with the highest average gas prices, as of June 6:

  • California: $6.34
  • Nevada: $5.49
  • Hawaii: $5.47
  • Oregon $5.41
  • Washington $5.40
  • And in the District of Columbia, the average cost is $5.06, AAA said. The biggest weekly shock came in states such as Michigan, Illinois and Indiana — all of which saw gas rise by more than 40 cents in the past week.

    Another nine states seem poised to hit the $5 threshold, including Pennsylvania ($4.95), and Massachusetts ($4.96).

    Oil and gas companies want to boost production

    In response to the new spike, Consumer Energy Alliance President David Holt — whose organization's members include numerous oil and gas companies — called for ramping up U.S. oil and gas production.

    "We are in unprecedented territory with gasoline prices headed for a national average of $5 a gallon," Holt told NPR on Monday.

    Several factors are responsible for the high gasoline prices, from the effects of Russia's invasion of Ukraine to strong demand from U.S. consumers outpacing what refineries can produce, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

    Citing the oil market's volatility in the face of factors such as the EU's plan to cut off nearly all Russian oil imports, AAA warned, "pump prices will likely remain elevated as long as demand grows and supply remains tight."

    It's not as bad as earlier spikes in gas prices, EIA says

    Despite the eye-popping numbers being put on gas station signs, the EIA says that as a percentage of disposable personal income, gasoline costs are still only a little higher than the average since 2015 — and it says they're lower than in previous times when oil prices soared past $100 per barrel.

    "The share of disposable personal income allocated to gasoline expenditures reached its peak in 2008, just before the onset of the global financial crisis when oil prices were at record highs," the agency said in its recent short-term outlook.

    Still, the EIA predicts that for consumers, the average U.S. household will have to spend around $450 more for gas this year than they did in 2021, on an inflation-adjusted basis.

    Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

    Bill Chappell
    Bill Chappell is a writer and editor on the News Desk in the heart of NPR's newsroom in Washington, D.C.