The average gas price in Massachusetts reached a record high Monday of $4.39 a gallon, as fuel fees continue to rise driven by the Russian invasion of Ukraine, inflation, and increasing crude oil costs, AAA said.
The statewide average for regular gas has increased 18 cents a gallon from last week, according to a statement from AAA. This time last year, the average price was $2.85 a gallon.
The price of diesel fuel also reached an all-time high in Massachusetts at $6.27 a gallon, according to AAA.
Monday also marked the highest average price for a gallon of regular unleaded gas in several metro areas, such as Barnstable-Yarmouth ($4.45), Cambridge-Newton-Framingham ($4.41), Seekonk ($4.32), Springfield ($4.32), and Worcester ($4.36), according to AAA.
The national average is $4.32, which is 13 cents higher than last week, but 7 cents lower than the Massachusetts average, AAA said. The record-high national average was $4.33, which was set March 11.
Mary Maguire, director of public and government affairs for AAA Northeast, said the highest prices nationally are in the Northeast and on the West Coast. She noted that Rhode Island saw a 19-cent increase to $4.37 last week, even higher than Massachusetts.
“Drivers are feeling a serious pain at the pump,” she wrote in an e-mail. “We continue to see strong demand, and Memorial Day weekend, the start of the summer driving season, is right around the corner — which will likely spark more demand, given the pent-up demand for travel.”
The wallet-busting prices for consumers, she explained, are driven by the rise of crude oil rates to around $110 per barrel, which is “propelling elevated pump prices.”
“Crude oil accounts for roughly 6 percent of the price of gasoline at the pump,” Maguire wrote. “As long as inflation and the Russia-Ukraine conflict persist, both will send jitters through the oil and gas markets, which don’t respond well to volatility.”
Prices have also increased because gasoline companies are shifting to the summer blend of gasoline, which typically costs more to produce and “normally adds a few cents to the price,” Maguire said.