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Gas prices soar amid Eastern European tensions

Built in the Bay
(Megan Varner / Getty Images)

(OAKLAND, Calif.) Gas prices skyrocketed on Thursday amidst the Russian invasion of Ukraine and according to some experts, the prices could get worse.

The AAA gasoline survey determined that the average price for a gallon of unleaded gas was $4.83 in the East Bay, $4.84 in Santa Clara County and $4.93 in the San Francisco-San Mateo region as of Thursday night.

According to the site Gas Buddy, which tracks fluctuations in gas prices with approximate causes, the spike started Monday when initial reports from unnamed U.S. intelligence officials indicated that Russia was planning to invade Ukraine later this week. The subsequent geopolitical tensions in the area has drastically increased the price of crude oil and thus, the price at the pump for Bay Area commuters as well.

Both Gas Buddy and AAA reported that the high price Thursday mid-day marked the highest gas prices ever recorded in California and the Bay Area.

"I was shocked to see how high gas prices are here," Mary Saint, a Huntsville, Alabama, resident who was in the Bay Area visiting family, told the East Bay Times. According to Saint, prices are roughly a dollar cheaper for her back home, but she's now worried they may rise in her home state as well. The AAA gas survey verifies Saint's claim.

According to AAA Northern California, compared to last year the price of gas is up more than 30% across all three major Bay Area regions.

"The war with Russia and Ukraine is having a significant impact on the price of crude oil," Aldo Vazquez, a spokesperson for AAA Northern California told the Times. "Wednesday night, crude oil was $90 a barrel. Now, it's $100 a barrel."

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