Nevada earned the distinction Monday of having the second-highest gas prices in the U.S. at just over $5.49 per gallon — a record price nearly 63 cents above the national average.
The price rose 12 cents since hitting a record $5.37 per gallon average on Saturday, propelling the Silver State to the second spot and knocking Hawaii down to third place, according to AAA.
In addition to setting a new statewide record, gas rose to the highest recorded average in Southern Nevada on Monday with an average price of $5.42 per gallon. If it’s any consolation to Las Vegas drivers, the price in Reno is even higher — at $5.89 per gallon of regular gas.
California holds on to its dubious distinction of having the nation’s highest gas prices at an average $6.34.
“There is a very tight global supply right now,” said John Treanor, spokesman for AAA Nevada. “Domestic demand rose from last week due to a really robust Memorial Day weekend.”
According to Treanor, gas prices in Nevada have either remained stagnant or risen since the beginning of May.
Nevada is tied to California refineries, where the costs to refine oil is high because of tight environmental regulations, Treanor said. The cost to import also drives up the cost due to lack of refineries and oil drilling in the state of Nevada, he said.
The national average also remains red hot as it hit another record on Monday at $4.87 — a 25 cent jump from last week.
Oil supplies remain low while demand remains high, driving oil barrel prices to $120, which is two times higher than prices last August, according to Treanor.
“Oil prices are the number one driver of prices; the rest is supply and demand,” said Treanor.
There is no way to predict gas prices will go from here, according to Treanor, noting that the Russian invasion of Ukraine continues to exacerbate the gas situation due to sanctions against Russia, a major supplier.
Bakersfield, California, resident David Stubblefield, who was pumping gas at a Chevron on East Fremont Street, has seen a tank of gas jump up about $30. He said it used to take about $70 to fill up his tank, but these days it’s closer to $100.
James Brown III also lamented the rising gas costs as he filled his vehicle tank at a 7-Eleven on West Lake Mead Boulevard in North Las Vegas. “It costs a lot having a big truck,” he said.
Review-Journal business intern Emerson Drewes can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter @EmersonDrewes. Review-Journal photography intern Steel Brooks contributed to this report.