Invasion in Ukraine hits close to home at the pump

The price of regular gas sits at five dollars and 33 cents at the Circle K gas station located in Red Hill.

Ezra Thaler

The price of regular gas sits at five dollars and 33 cents at the Circle K gas station located in Red Hill.

As a result of the Russian invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 20, European nations and the U.S have imposed heavy economic sanctions against Russia. On Sunday, Mar. 6, President Biden signed an executive order banning the import of all Russian oil and natural gas into the U.S. The ban has caused the global price of crude oil to spike to over 100 dollars a barrel in recent weeks, the highest price since 2012, resulting in an increase in gas prices globally. 

Russia produces 10.58 million barrels of oil per day, leading all other nations in oil exportation. There has been discussion in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) about cutting back on the purchase of Russian oil and finding alternative sources of energy, however these particular decisions about shutting off purchases of Russian oil are complex, due to widespread reliance on Russian exports of crude oil. 

Crude oil, a main component in gasoline, accounts for 57 percent of the cost of gas. As a result, the cost of gas at the pump has gone up worldwide. The average price of a gallon of gas in San Francisco has gone from $4.74 to $5.88 in just two months, and may continue to rise in future weeks. 

Higher gas prices are impacting students and parents here in the Archie Williams community. Senior Grayson Rivera is feeling the effects. 

“I am spending over $40 a week just to get to and from school, so yeah, I’m definitely feeling the price hike,” Grayson said. 

However, the AWHS senior acknowledges the greater cause by continuing to pay the high gas prices.

“I think it’s important to support Ukraine. There is not a price limit to saving lives,” Grayson said.

Senior Davis Logan, who typically buys at the Gas & Shop near the San Anselmo Hub, has taken a different approach to the problem. 

“I have been doing a lot more research to find gas pumps that are the cheapest, and not driving around as much,” Davis said.

 Now that COVID-19 stay at home restrictions are lifted, community members have started to commute to work again. This means more driving for Liz Jones, mother of a student at AWHS. However, there are limits to what Jones is willing to pay at the pump.

 “I am willing to pay more to help Ukraine, but if prices increased to $10 a gallon, that would be too high,” Jones said.

Recently, Saudi Arabia and the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) agreed to increase production of crude oil, which immediately led to a global price decrease of crude oil. While a recent development, it is still too early to determine whether this will decrease the cost of gasoline.  

Until conflicts derived from the Russian invasion of Ukraine are resolved, American citizens will need to continue paying for high gas prices.