CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Drivers in North Carolina and South Carolina will continue to pay more at the pump as gas prices keep rising nationwide.
According to AAA, the national average price for a gallon of gas is $3.52, that's 5 cents higher than a week prior. This time last year, the national average for a gallon of gas was $2.53.
North Carolina's average price also went up this week. Currently, the average cost of a gallon of gas in North Carolina is $3.41, up 9 cents from a week prior and 31 cents from a month ago. Charlotte's average gas price matches the North Carolina average, according to AAA. In South Carolina, the average price for a gallon of regular is $3.32.
Oil industry experts say the rising tension with Russia on the Ukraine border is contributing to rising gas prices in the U.S. AAA reported that oil prices are over $90 per barrel. That's a growing political problem for President Joe Biden and fellow Democrats, as inflation has become a difficult issue for the party ahead of midterm elections.
The Labor Department announced last week that inflation soared to its highest rate in four decades over the past year, with consumer prices rising 7.5% last month.
The steady surge in prices has left many Americans less able to afford food, gas, rent, child care and other necessities. More broadly, inflation has emerged as the biggest risk factor for the economy and as a serious threat to Biden and congressional Democrats as midterm elections loom later this year.
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“It is pretty outrageous”, Rock Hill resident Sepricia Long said.
The highest recorded average gas price in North Carolina history was in September of 2008 when the price for a gallon of regular topped $4 at $4.08.
"More drivers fueling up here coupled with a persistent tight supply of oil worldwide provides the recipe for higher prices at the pump," Andrew Gross, a AAA spokesperson, said in a statement.
A South Carolina viewer sent in a question to WCNC Charlotte asking, “Why do the gas prices differ in the same county? In York county - Fort Mill, SC gas prices range from $3.23 - $3.29. In Rock Hill, SC prices are $3.09-$3.19. Why the difference?"
“It’s normal to see different prices at different prices," Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis at Gas Buddy, said.
According to De Haan, the main reason gas stations have different prices is because of delivery schedules -- along with the fact that gas is a commodity.
“The average station only buys gasoline every three to five days so the time between purchases, the price every station pays is different because of that inflation occurs," De Haan said.
“We have to do what we have to do, we have to go to work we have to travel," Long said. “For the most part, I’m taking it one day at a time trying not to drive any further than I have to go”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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