SEATTLE — On Monday, Washington state’s average gas price hit $4.449 per gallon, the highest it has ever been.
Monday’s average beat the record set in 2008 by nearly 10 cents, according to AAA, and the price will likely continue to increase for some time to come.
In just one week, the average Washington gas price has soared more than 40 cents and is currently well above the national average of $4.065 per gallon.
Experts point to the war in Ukraine, which has caused the price of crude oil to skyrocket, as the main reason why gas prices have risen so drastically and at a dizzying pace in recent weeks.
As for Washington, the highest prices are being seen in the western part of the state, with King County experiencing the highest prices with an average of $4.662 per gallon.
While many places in eastern Washington are around the national average, a handful of counties are still seeing prices below $4 a gallon, including Asotin, Garfield and Ferry counties.
As of Monday, there are just four states with higher gas prices than Washington: Oregon, Nevada, Hawaii and California. The latter state is currently paying the most at the pump, paying an average $5.34 per gallon.
Kelly Just with AAA said last week that even though Washington doesn’t get much crude oil from Russia, making its oil supply more secure than others, the state still feels the pain at the pump due to a “jittery” market.
She also said gas prices tend to go up in the spring as refineries begin to make their summer blends of gasoline, causing the price of gas to go up until Memorial Day weekend.
The International Energy Agency, a group of 31 countries that includes the U.S., said last week it would be releasing more than 60 million barrels of oil from its strategic reserves to combat the rising gas prices. It's the largest amount of oil the group has released at one time since it was founded in 1974.