For most Americans, there is no escaping the rise of gas prices. Whether paying directly at the pump or paying more for other goods and services affected by higher gas prices, the costs of gasoline filter throughout the economy. That was the case this year, when the sudden spike in gas prices after the Russian invasion of Ukraine became a major driver of inflation that heightened budgetary pressures on Nevada households and businesses alike.

The gas price roller coaster began in the early months of the pandemic, when plummeting demand pushed the national average price per gallon to $1.84 in April 2020. Prices remained relatively low throughout 2020 before starting to recover in early 2021 as the national economy emerged from the depths of the pandemic. The recovery leveled out toward the end of 2021, with national prices hovering near $3.30 per gallon.

In February 2022, the Russian invasion triggered economic sanctions against the third-largest oil producer in the world. The near-global ban on Russian oil imports effectively removed about 10 percent of the world petroleum supply from the global market, which quickly translated into skyrocketing prices for crude oil, gasoline and other petroleum-based products. U.S. gas prices spiked 13.7 percent in one week, raising the average price by nearly 50 cents per gallon between the last week of February and first week of March. Gas prices continued to rise through the spring as the conflict continued, demand increased during the summer driving season and the costlier summer gas blend was rolled out. By mid-June, the national average price per gallon peaked at about $5.00, but it has fallen steadily for three straight months to just under $4.00 per gallon.

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