How much higher could gas prices go? We could be near the peak, AAA says
Gas prices for a gallon of regular rose by about 7 cents Wednesday in the Chicago metro region, a day after President Joe Biden banned imports of Russian oil, but the nation could be nearing a peak, AAA reported.
The average cost per gallon was $4.64 Wednesday compared to about $4.57 Tuesday, an AAA analysis showed. A month ago, fuel averaged $3.74.
"The U.S. imports very little crude from Russia (3% annually) so the U.S. ban on Russian oil imports is not expected to have much of an impact on global supplies or prices," AAA's Molly Hart said. "What is causing the gas prices to spike is the price of oil."
A relative reprieve could be coming, Hart noted.
"After making significant gains the past seven consecutive business days -- rising a total of $32 per barrel -- the U.S. price for oil is finally declining," she said.
"Crude is almost $7 a barrel less than yesterday's closing price of $123.70 a barrel. This may not be enough to erase the increases we've already seen at the pump, but it could reduce some of the next round of price hikes, following the oil price gains we saw Monday and Tuesday."
"Of course, this may mean nothing if oil rebounds by the end of day, but hopefully we're nearing the peak," Hart said.
Across the suburbs, wide disparities showed up at the pump.
Along Ogden Avenue in Downers Grove, Speedway, Shell and BP stations were charging $4.59 for a gallon of regular.
The website GasBuddy showed a rate of $4.39 a gallon at a Mobil service station in St. Charles but $4.89 at a Rosemont Mobil Wednesday morning.
In Arlington Heights, a Marathon station was charging $4.49 a gallon, according to GasBuddy. Farther north at a Libertyville BP, gas cost $4.59.
"Russian oil will no longer be acceptable at U.S. ports, and the American people will deal another powerful blow to Putin's war machine," Biden said Tuesday at the White House, singling out Russian President Vladimir Putin who ordered the invasion Feb. 23.
"This is a step that we're taking to inflict further pain on Putin. But there will be costs as well here in the United States."