AUGUSTA COUNTY, Va. (WHSV) – For the 10th straight week, gasoline prices across the country continue to climb.
In Virginia, the price at the pump jumped $0.55 a gallon last week. Prices are now the highest the Commonwealth has seen in over a decade.
Today, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said US and European partners are discussing ways to ban the import of Russian oil. Bernie Kaussler, a political science professor at James Madison University, said an oil ban would be like a boycott, but the penalties are different. He also said that any decision to sanction oil is very serious.
“The US government, Congress, would sanction the purchase of Russian oil and therefore make it illegal,” Kaussler said.
The Energy Information Administration (EIA) said that Russia supplied about 8% of the oil to the United States in 2021. Morgan Dean with AAA Mid-Atlantic said that if sanctions were put in place, there would probably be further price increases.
“If there were additional sanctions against Russia that specifically targeted oil and didn’t bring in Russian oil, we could see that would continue to drive prices up,” Dean said.
A Reuters poll on Friday showed about 80% of bipartisan Americans support the measure to sanction Russian oil.
Dean said things like damage to a major pipeline, natural disasters and global tensions can drive up gas prices. As Russia’s invasion of Ukraine continues, gas prices are expected to continue to rise.
“We’re looking at several different things coming together, all related to the uncertainty of what’s going on between Russia and Ukraine right now,” Dean said.
Kaussler said the world is very different than it was two weeks ago.
“The international environment has changed, obviously has changed a lot for Ukrainians. Decision-making right now has to be seen in the context of wartime,” Kaussler said.
On average, Commonwealth residents are paying $1.34 more per gallon than this time last year.
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