Gas prices hit record high in Missouri

Russell Kinsaul has been checking what's behind record gas prices.
Published: May. 11, 2022 at 4:56 PM CDT|Updated: May. 13, 2022 at 7:47 AM CDT
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ST. LOUIS (KMOV) -- The average statewide cost of a gallon of gasoline hit a record high of $3.98 today, beating the record of $3.94 set back in 2008.

Nick Chibarria is a spokesman for AAA Missouri.

”Gas prices have been trending upward nationwide really in the last week, as they have been all year,” he said.

The high prices have customers none too happy. Steve Kissel spoke with News 4 as he was filling up before a return trip to Kentucky after a visit to St. Louis.

”Sure it’s frustrating. Every time you go to the pump seems like they’re going up,” said Kissel.

The nationwide cost of a gallon of regular unleaded gas hit $4.40 and the statewide average in Illinois is $4.77. A year ago, the national average was $2.98 and the statewide average in Missouri was $2.74.

Mitch Ellison, Ph.D. is an associate professor of economics at Webster University. He said world events are impacting the prices of oil and gasoline.

”Really what’s happening there is the events around the world are just not working in our favor,” he said.

Oil prices had already been driven up by an increase in demand following a pandemic-induced economic slowdown. And then the war in Ukraine has led to a reduction in 3 million barrels of Russian oil entering the global market daily, leading to market instability.

Ellison says some may want to blame the oil companies and accuse them of price gouging but he said that’s not what’s happening.

”Like blaming Picasso because his paintings are selling for $100 million. Exxon is in the oil business. But the price is set, basically, in the global market,” he said.

Chibarria said the conditions contributing to the price of gasoline aren’t expected to change soon. He’s predicting a rollercoaster of a summer for gas prices.