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Gas, utility prices to go up in midst of Russia-Ukraine conflict

Posted at 4:52 PM, Feb 24, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-24 17:52:08-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — On Thursday, President Joe Biden addressed the nation about the Russia-Ukraine conflict.

In that speech, he mentioned energy prices would likely rise, but promised to use every tool possible to protect families from higher costs.

According to AAA, the statewide gas price average in Missouri is $3.22. That's up four cents from this time last week.

The national average is $3.54.

AAA said the conflict between Russia and Ukraine has future oil prices soaring to around $100 per barrel. It's not been that high since 2014, when Russia also invaded Ukraine and annexed Crimea.

"Demand is really high and so anything that constrains the supply of it is going to add to that," Larry Wigger, a supply chain professor at the University of Missouri - Kansas City said.

Experts say gas prices increasing are a mixture of inflation, supply and demand, and now Russia attacking Ukraine.

"The pricing is a reaction to all that uncertainty that we don't know when that pipeline is going to get turned on," Wigger said.

Experts said even though the U.S. does not heavily rely on Russian energy, we'll still feel the effects of the conflict.

"Probably the most immediate short-term impact will be slight changes, slight increases in energy prices," Greg Vonnahme, a political science professor at UMKC said.

That will mean paying more to gas up your car and heat your home. With future oil prices climbing, experts said companies might look into other options.

"The price is getting up there. So, at that point, we'll see companies do things like revisiting fracking, looking for alternative means, things that are typically more expensive production processes, but suddenly if oil is costing that much, it makes sense to pursue them," Wigger said.

They also said the possibility of paying $4 a gallon cannot be ruled out.

"I would be surprised if we didn't, actually," Wigger said.

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