CHICAGO - At the BP at North and LaSalle in Chicago, regular unleaded gas spiked to $5.25 per gallon Tuesday night — a direct result of President Joe Biden announcing Russian oil will no longer be accepted at U.S. ports.
"Today I'm announcing the United States is targeting the main artery of Russia's economy," Biden said Tuesday. "We're banning all imports of Russian oil and gas and energy."
Biden said gas prices will get worse before they get better.
"With this action, it's going to go up further. I'm going to do everything I can to minimize Putin's price hike here at home," the president said.
That includes the U.S. releasing 30 million barrels of oil to try to cool the surge in prices.
"I wouldn't rule out, especially as we're approaching spring break driving season, and summer driving season, maybe something closer to $6 bucks. Maybe seven in some of the energy-sensitive states like California," said Scott Martin of Kingsview Wealth Management. "That's going to be a definite shock to consumers."
"It's ridiculous," said Jessie Brandon of Chicago.
"It's killing me," added Delvin Molden, who commutes in from the suburbs. He decided to give his SUV just under two gallons — just enough to get to the suburbs, where he'll fill up the rest of the tank.
"What we have to think about is what the people in Ukraine are going through," Molden said. "So what? We're paying a little bit more for gas. But we're not getting bombed. We're not getting thrown out of our houses and killed. We have to be thankful for where we are now."
According to AAA, the average price of gas in Cook County is $4.60 per gallon. That is the highest since July 2008, during the peak of the financial crisis.