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Gas prices hit all-time highs; U.S. taps oil reserves 

Kwik Chek Exxon in Marble Falls

As average gas prices across the state and nation reach all-time highs, the cost of regular unleaded gas is $3.99 a gallon at the Kwik Chek Exxon, 1003 RR 1431 in Marble Falls. Staff photo by Brigid Cooley

Gas and diesel prices have hit statewide and national highs, according to the American Automobile Association. The average price of regular unleaded in Texas was $4.004 a gallon on Thursday, March 10, a staggering 63-cent increase compared to just a week prior

The rate surpassed the state’s previous recorded high of $3.985 set on July 17, 2008. 

In Burnet County, the average cost of regular unleaded fuel was $3.967 a gallon March 10, according to AAA. The average price was slightly higher in Llano County at $3.994. 

Meanwhile, the nationwide average sits at $4.318, which is the highest national price recorded since 2008. 

The increases reflect a global trend of rising gas prices caused, in part, by the war between Russia and Ukraine. 

Russia began an unprovoked invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24. As a result, oil prices surged around the world in anticipation of negative impacts on the global supply chain. 

Since then, the United States and many of its allies have placed severe economic sanctions on Russia in response to the war while also limiting Russian imports and exports. On March 8, President Joe Biden signed an executive order banning the import of all Russian oil, gas, and energy to the United States. This action, he said, would target Russia’s “main artery.” 

“We made this decision in close consultation with our allies and our partners around the world, particularly in Europe, because a united response to (Russian President Vladimir) Putin’s aggression has been my overriding focus, to keep all NATO and all of the (European Union) and our allies totally united,” Biden said during a speech given March 8. “We’re moving forward on this ban, understanding that many of our European allies and partners may not be in a position to join us.” 

Russia is the third-largest oil producer in the world with about 60 percent of its oil exports distributed among European nations, according to the International Energy Agency

Numbers released by the White House show the U.S. imported about 700,000 barrels of crude oil and refined petroleum products per day from Russia in 2021. This makes up a small fraction of the oil consumed by the United States, which averaged about 19.78 million barrels of petroleum products per day last year, according to reports from the U.S. Energy Information Administration

In an attempt to mitigate impacts on the global supply chain, the U.S. has authorized releasing over 90 million barrels from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve this fiscal year with an emergency sale of 30 million barrels announced March 1

The reserve, referred to as the SPR, was established in the 1970s to “alleviate the effects of unexpected oil supply reductions,” according to the Energy Information Administration. While it has the capacity to hold up to 714 million barrels of crude oil, it had 580 million barrels on Feb. 25 of this year. 

The Biden Administration is also encouraging increased oil production within the United States as a short-term solution and looking toward green energy alternatives for the long term.

1 thought on “Gas prices hit all-time highs; U.S. taps oil reserves 

  1. We’re sitting on enough oil/petrol to power our entire country’s needs. This is a proven fact. Flip the switch to turn it back on already…

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