Are you paying more than $7 a gallon for gasoline? That’s what some drivers are paying in Los Angeles, where driving is a necessity. Democrats and the Joe Biden administration are calling for U.S. citizens to make a sacrifice by paying high gas prices due to sanctions leveled against Russia over its invasion of Ukraine.
Biden signed an executive order on March 8 to ban the import of Russian oil, liquefied natural gas, and coal to the U.S.
It didn’t take long for gas prices to jump. In Los Angeles, drivers are paying more than $5.50 a gallon on average at the pump, The Los Angeles Times reported. In Beverly Hills, much-photographed gas prices higher than $7.50 a gallon have gone viral on social media.
Americans will have to pay a significant price for the war in Ukraine, but it’s worth it to support a fledgling democracy, Biden said during a March 8 press conference.
“This is a step that we’re taking to inflict further pain on Putin, but there will be costs as well here in the United States,” Biden said as he announced thea ban on Russian oil imports “I said I would level with the American people from the beginning. And when I first spoke to this, I said defending freedom will cost. It’s going to cost us as well in the United States.”
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“That means Russian oil will no longer be acceptable in U.S. ports … Americans have rallied to support Ukrainian people and made it clear we will not be subsidizing Putin’s war,” Biden said.
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Biden’s remarks came as Americans are struggling with inflation. The stock market plunged on his announcement and prices at the pump soared, The Washington Post reported.
Gas price hikes are not just affecting average drivers but also gig workers who drive for Lyft and Uber or who earn a living making deliveries.
“In fact, that average price is the highest ever in nominal terms. But not when you correct for inflation; corrected for inflation the price was higher in 2008,” said Don Fullerton with the University of Illinois’ Institute of Government and Public Affairs. “So it’s not outrageous, but it will keep going up with volatility. It’s going to bounce around as different countries decide whether to ban imports from Russia, and it’s going to bounce around along with the progress of the war. If things go badly, the price will go up more.”
Matt Hart, executive director of the Illinois Trucking Association, said gas prices will be passed on to the consumer.
“In the long term, it hurts the consumer because in the long term eventually the higher cost of transporting goods leads to higher costs at the grocery store, higher costs at the department store, higher costs on Amazon because it costs more to transport goods,” Hart said. “And our industry transports over 70% of the nation’s freight, and when our costs go up, our input goes up, ultimately that’s going to lead to higher costs for the consumer in the end.”
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Photo: President Joe Biden speaks about the Russian invasion of Ukraine in the East Room of the White House, Feb. 24, 2022, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)/Photo: High gas prices are posted at a gas station in downtown Los Angeles, March 7, 2022. The price of regular gasoline broke $4 per gallon on average across the U.S. on Sunday for the first time since 2008. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)