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USA uneasy as gas prices hit new high

Washington, USA | Xinhua |  The U.S. national average for a gallon of regular gasoline hit 4.009 U.S. dollars on Sunday, the highest since July 2008, according to the American Automobile Association (AAA).

The gas prices jumped 41 cents over the past week, following a surge in the oil prices amid the ongoing military conflict between Russia and Ukraine. Now pump prices are just 10 cents away from the record of 4.114 dollars a gallon set in July 2008.

“An increase in gas demand, alongside a reduction in total supply, is contributing to price increases, but increasing oil prices continue to play a leading role in pushing prices higher,” the AAA said.

“A potential ban of crude imports from Russia to the U.S. or other countries will likely cause prices to continue to rise to reflect more risk of disruption to tight global oil supplies,” the auto club noted.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Sunday that Washington was in “very active discussions” with its European partners about a ban on oil imports from Russia.

“We are now talking to our European partners and allies to look in a coordinated way at the prospect of banning the import of Russian oil, while making sure that there is still an appropriate supply of oil on world markets,” Blinken said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

White House press secretary Jen Psaki also told reporters Friday that the administration was looking at options to cut U.S. consumption of Russian energy. But she noted that the White House was “very focused on minimizing the impact to families.”

“If you reduce supply in the global marketplace, you are going to raise gas prices,” she said.

The White House has an interest in fighting against surging gas prices which could further increase the highest level of inflation the United States has seen in 40 years. Inflation has negatively impacted U.S. President Joe Biden’s poll numbers in the lead-up to this year’s congressional midterm elections.

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