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South Coast drivers brace for potential record-high gas prices due to Russia-Ukraine conflict

<i>Caroline Brehman/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock</i><br/>A person pumps gasoline into a car at a 76 gas station in Los Angeles
Caroline Brehman/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock
A person pumps gasoline into a car at a 76 gas station in Los Angeles

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. — California has the highest average price for gas in the country. At $4.77 a gallon that’s nearly a quarter more a gallon than the next highest, Hawaii, at $4.54 a gallon. Now South Coast drivers are bracing for gas to cost more than $5 a gallon.

According to AAA, San Luis Obispo County has the second-highest average price per gallon among California’s metro areas. SLO’s $4.96 is only a penny behind Napa’s $4.97 per gallon average. Ventura County is averaging $4.82 a gallon, while Santa Barbara is at $4.74 a gallon.

In Santa Barbara gas is up $0.03 a gallon from yesterday, $0.13 from a month ago and $1.14 from a year ago.

The price of gas is increasing due to the rising price of gas. The price of oil crossed $100 a barrel for the first time since 2014. Earlier Thursday morning oil cost as much as $102.26 a barrel. That’s up 16% from a month ago. And 55% higher than a year ago when oil cost $66.11 a barrel.

Economists said that Russia invading Ukraine Thursday morning has created a surge in demand for energy and oil. And with a relatively short supply of oil on the market compared to demand, the current surge could cause record highs in the price of oil and gas.

During his speech Thursday morning about Russia invading Ukraine, President Joe Biden said, “My administration is using the tools, every tool at the disposal to protect American families and businesses from rising prices at the gas pump. You know, we’re taking active steps to take down the costs and American oil and gas companies should not, should not exploit this moment to hike their prices to raise profits.”

“When a major nuclear power attacks and invades another country that the world is going to respond and markets are going to respond all over the world,” continued President Biden. “The notion that this is going to last for a long time is highly unlikely as long as we continue to stay resolve in imposing sanctions we’re going to impose Russia.”

Autoblog shows the lowest price per gallon of gas in Santa Barbara is $4.39. Click here to see the most up-to-date cheapest gas finder. 

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Scott Sheahen

Scott Sheahen is a reporter for NewsChannel 3-12. To learn more about Scott, click here.


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