Gasoline prices hit an all-time high in Massachusetts on Tuesday, while New Englanders continue to feel the effects of inflation.
The average price of regular unleaded gasoline reached $5 per gallon, according to data from AAA. That’s up from $4.34 a gallon a month ago, and $2.93 one year ago.
In Suffolk County, the average cost of a gallon was $5.11 Tuesday. On Martha’s Vineyard, the average was $5.93 per gallon, and on Nantucket, it was $5.78, AAA reported.
Other New England states weren’t spared, either. In Connecticut, the average price of regular was $4.92; in New Hampshire, it was $4.94; in Vermont, it was $4.95; in Rhode Island, it was $4.97, and it was $5 in Maine, AAA said.
The national average rose to $4.91 a gallon — another record high. (Keep in mind: the real cost of a gallon of gas was higher in July 2008, when it shot up to $5.37 in today’s dollars, when adjusted for inflation.)
The East Coast has yet to reach the sky-high prices of California, where the average was $6.37 a gallon Tuesday. But experts say it’s likely the towering costs will endure through the summer and that several factors are to blame.
Citing data from the Energy Information Administration, AAA reported that total domestic gasoline supplies decreased last week while demand grew, contributing to the increase in prices. And crude oil prices have remained high, at $119 per barrel Tuesday.
“Coupled with volatile crude oil prices, pump prices will likely remain elevated as long as demand grows and supply remains tight,” AAA officials said in a statement.
Economists cite the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the start of US hurricane season as key reasons why filling up the tank is so expensive. The weather down South will likely impact refining output and supplies along the Gulf Coast, expert Andy Lipow told NBC.
At the Shell gas station at 181 Main St. in Hudson, manager Mike Clough said he’s never seen prices surge so high before.
“I’ve never seen anything like this,” Clough said in a phone interview. “It’s not good.”
Unleaded regular gas now sells there for $4.99 a gallon. But that hasn’t kept drivers from fueling up, and his loyal customers keep coming back.
“Nobody’s coming in complaining,” Clough said. “It is what it is. There’s not much anybody can do about it.”
It’s a sentiment shared by many across the country right now.
“People are still fueling up, despite these high prices,” AAA spokesman Andrew Gross said in a statement. “At some point, drivers may change their daily driving habits or lifestyle due to these high prices, but we are not there yet.”