Gas prices rising toward $5 a gallon in U.S.

DALLAS [AP] — The average price Americans pay for a gallon of gasoline is closing in on $5, another drain on the wallets of consumers who are paying more for many other essentials.

AAA said the nationwide average for regular on Thursday was $4.97 a gallon, up a quarter in just the last week and $1.90 more than drivers were paying a year ago.

GasBuddy, a service that helps drivers find deals on gas, said the average surpassed $5 for the first time ever, The Associated Press reported.

Pump prices have been rising steadily for months, shooting past the $4 mark in early March. They track the cost of crude oil, which was rising even before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine drove oil even higher.

Fears of short supplies are being compounded by demand, which usually picks up around Memorial Day.

California has the highest average price, at $6.40 a gallon, according to AAA. Several other Western states and Illinois are higher than $5.50. The lowest average is in Georgia, at $4.41.

While the $5 mark is new, Americans paid more for gasoline back in July 2008, when inflation is considered. The high of $4.11 a gallon then would be equal to about $5.40 a gallon today.

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