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Why are gas prices skyrocketing? A deep-dive into the pain at the pump

Posted: 2:54 PM, Mar 10, 2022
Updated: 2022-03-11 16:43:44-05
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This Denver7 360 in-depth report will give you a better understanding of what’s driving the cost of gasoline to record levels, the impact it’s having in Colorado and the country, and what’s being done to mitigate that impact.

What are current gas prices in the Denver area? The average price of regular gasoline across the Denver area is $3.82 per gallon as of Tuesday, according to GasBuddy, which is a 6 cents increase from the day before and more than a 14% increase from a few weeks ago.

  • The lowest price in the Denver area is $3.39 as of Tuesday
  • The highest price in the Denver area is $4.44 as of Tuesday

The average price for gasoline in the US is also hitting record levels. As of Tuesday, the average price is $4.17 per gallon, which is an increase of 10 cents from the previous day.gasbuddy.png

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Why are gas prices skyrocketing? Several factors are in play, according to experts. One of the latest ones is the US ban on Russian oil imports announced Tuesday. The US historically gets around 4% of its oil from Russia.

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Other factors contributing to the price increase include:

  • Seasonal price changes
  • Increase in demand for oil
  • Reduction in total supply due in part to the coronavirus pandemic
  • Skyrocketing oil prices

(Click the image below if you'd like to watch the video report.)

In-Depth: How rising gas prices are impacting daily life in Colorado

What are the impacts?

The increase in gas will continue to drive up inflation on all goods and services that rely on gasoline and crude oil, further squeezing consumers, businesses, financial markets and the global economy.Other impacts locally include delivery drivers and gig workers, those who drive for Uber and Lyft, who are making less per mile as they end up paying more to fill up.

"I gotta go from one place to another and end up spending a lot of gas just trying to drive to places, and it adds up," said Luke Mauer, a delivery driver for Cosmo’s Pizza. "If gas prices go higher, it's going to be a real issue."


What are people doing to save money? According to a recent AAA survey, Americans said they are driving less, combining trips, and using rewards programs to save on fuel costs.Commuters in Colorado are feeling the pain at the pump.

"I drive around for work all the time. So it's starting to definitely impact," said Mimi Wong, a commuter in Denver.

"It's not good. So they have got to do something about it for sure. But meantime, you just got to keep going."


What is being done? OPEC is sticking with its plan for just a modest production increase.

The oil alliance chose to increase production by 400,000 barrels per day in April. But the key, according to some economists, is expanding drilling here in the United States.

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"Fortunately, we have plenty of energy resources in this country, we just have to access it," said Sanjai Bhagat, a professor of finance at CU Boulder.

"The international oil price being high does give the incentive to some of the oil producers both in Colorado and nationally."

(Click on the image below to compare gas price trends across different Colorado cities.)


Denver7 is dedicated to digging deeper into the issues that matter to help you find solutions to everyday problems. Check out more Denver7 360 In-Depth coverage here.