Gas-price average reaches all-time high

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Gas prices in the United States are at an an all-time high. [Brian Petersheim Jr.]

We all knew it was bad, but AAA has confirmed it – gas prices are now the highest they have ever been.

The average for a gallon of regular gas hit $4.374 Tuesday after increasing by 5 cents overnight, AAA said. Prices have gone up 17 cents per gallon in the last week, 26 cents in the last month and $1.41 in the last year.

Prices are higher than the average at Maricopa gas stations. Tuesday morning saw prices of $4.69 per gallon at Circle K and $4.79 at both QT and Fry’s, and $4.89 at Chevron.

While things certainly are bad locally, two of Arizona’s bordering states – California and Nevada, along with Hawaii — have average prices over $5 per gallon. Only six states: Oklahoma, Kansas, Arkansas, Missouri, Mississippi and Georgia, still have average gas prices below $4 a gallon.

As bad as things are, they could be worse. The Canadian Automotive Association reports gas hit an average of $5.48 (in U.S. dollars) a gallon on Tuesday, nearing that nation’s record high.

Diesel fuel also continues to set records, reaching $5.50 a gallon on Tuesday.

There are a number of reasons for higher energy and gas prices, according to a Kiplinger report, which cited global oil demand rebounding from the pandemic faster than production, the war in Ukraine, efforts to move the U.S. economy away from its fossil-fuel reliance and energy companies’ reluctance to invest in more oil production.

Meanwhile, some of the world’s leading oil giants reported record profits for the first three months of 2022, according to USA Today, which reported “profits for Exxon Mobil, Shell and more also rose by billions despite significant costs of existing operations and/or investments in Russia amid war in Ukraine.”