A Look at Rising Gas Prices

Written by on March 30, 2022

Put your seatbelts on for this one.

By Sal DiMaggio



Ever since the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Americans have seen a dramatic increase in gas prices, especially in New Jersey. American gas companies have decided to stop business in Russia for the time being, and the Biden administration banned imports on Russian oil imports on March 8

Prices at the pump were an average of $2.95 a year ago, while now the current average is $4.20 in the Garden State. Let’s put that into perspective. A small car typically needs around 12 gallons of gas to be full. If gas prices increased by $1.25 per gallon, that means every time a driver goes to the gas station they are spending an extra $15. Americans go to the gas station around 50 times each year, or almost once a week. That means that if this trend keeps up, we could be spending $750 a year more on gas. 


This is something that affects New Jersey heavily, as we have plenty of people driving across the state or into New York City or Philadelphia to go to work. But this also has a huge impact on college students, especially at Montclair State. 77% of students here live off campus, and then even residents have to drive to work as well as to school. So it’s safe to say that gas prices are a big concern on campus.-

Since it’s such a relevant issue, it’s a good idea to understand why this is going on. Why are gas prices so high, especially considering that the United States only gets around two to three percent of its oil from Russia?

Even though we may not get that much of our oil from Russia, the rest of the world does.The EU gets 27% of its crude oil from Russia. Kazakhstan imports over 50% of its oil from the nation. China imports 3.6 million barrels of crude oil from Russia per day.

What does this have to do with the US? Well, oil is very clearly a global market. Countries in every continent use it. And not only is oil used to make gasoline for automobiles, it’s also used to heat buildings and generate electricity. You’ll also find it in a lot of your everyday products, such as plastics, clothing, and even chewing gum.

Yes, even chewing gum. Think about that the next time you want some Dubble Bubble.

But since oil is a global market, that means that even though one country may not heavily rely on one nation’s oil exports, the rest of the world might, so any change in this vast global market will be felt worldwide. Hence gas prices rising here when Russia invades Ukraine and the world moves to condemn them.

This raises the question of energy dependence. If Russia has this much influence over our gas prices, should we start to move to more energy independent solutions like solar, hydro and nuclear power?

As of this writing, oil prices have gone down somewhat, but gas prices haven’t correlated. Hopefully they will soon, but many are calling out oil companies for corporate greed and trying to have more profit. In the meantime, we’ll just have to wait and see how this plays out.

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