Overnight Surging Gas Prices Cause Concern At Mass. Pumps

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BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — New England passed the "$4 mark" in average gasoline price per gallon, and the expense only appears to be climbing. Locals from Danvers told WBZ NewsRadio that regular gas was $3.89 a gallon on Saturday, but jumped overnight to $4.39 a gallon- a fifty cent increase in less than 24 hours.

According to the Automobile Association of America (AAA), Massachusetts had a $4.079 a gallon average on Sunday, with Nantucket at the highest in the state with $4.966, and Suffolk County with $4.155. Other states had it worse, as Connecticut averaged $4.218 a gallon and New York had $4.207 on Sunday.

But the rise does not surprise some locals, as many attributed it to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, and the United States' sanctions that have resulted from it. Many said that despite the larger price tags, boycotting Russian products such as oil and liquor in some states, would be a cause worth paying for.

"It's annoying but it's understandable, and if it's the only price we pay for the Ukraine situation I guess we'll have to deal with it- we should feel some pain too," one Cape Cod man said to WBZ's Tim Dunn.

"We have to support all those countries there- they're victims for no reason, we shouldn't buy fuel from Russia- we should start dipping into our stuff," said one local trucker and Uber driver.

"Our stuff," referencing stockpiles like the U.S strategic oil reserve, was something that Massachusetts Senator Ed Markey also said Americans should use in lieu of Russian oil. Senator Markey said during a press conference Saturday that the reserve could last for a thousand days and could be used to tide Americans over in-between the time it takes for the U.S to switch over to electrical energy.

Read More: Boston Common "Stand With Ukraine" Rally Gathers Thousands

Markey also proposed the SPIGOT Act, which stands for "Severing Putin's Immense Gains from Oil Transfers," and would ban the import of Russian oil into the U.S, a resource that Markey said we brought in 245 million barrels of last year (more than 17 billion dollars' worth).

To combat the surging prices, the International Energy Agency coordinated a release of 60 million barrels of crude oil from its 31 member countries' strategic reserves, which includes Germany, Canada, South Korea, Mexico, and the U.S to name a few. But that pales in comparison to the amount of crude oil that Russia exports, an estimated 5 million of barrels per day, and representing about 12 percent of global trade, the IEA said.

But in the meantime, at the pump, AAA recommended that drivers watch how much they brake, avoid hard accelerations, and minimize air conditioning usage to limit the amount of fuel spent and trips taken to the gas station.

WBZ's Shari Small (@ShariSmallNews) reports.

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