How the Russia-Ukraine crisis could affect Americans

Both President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris have warned that energy costs may rise for Americans as the tension between Russia and Ukraine builds. 

Inflation recently hit a 40-year high and between that rise of inflation and the Russia-Ukraine crisis, gas prices have increased nearly 40% within the last year and 6% from January. 

The average gas price for Utahns is just over $3.40 per gallon. Southern Utah residents have experienced some of the highest gas prices in the state, spending almost $3.60 per gallon at the pump. 

Early Tuesday, Feb. 24, Putin launched numerous deadly attacks on Ukraine that have killed at least 40 Ukrainian soldiers. 

President Biden has provided updates regarding the crisis involving the two countries. He plans to address the nation on the “unprovoked” and “unjust” attacks later today

Throughout the course of the last few weeks, Biden has explained that the cost of gas may increase if the conflict continues. 

“I will not pretend this will be painless, Biden said. “There could be an impact on our energy prices so we are taking active steps to alleviate the pressure on our own energy markets and offset rising prices.”

Biden has promised “forceful” action against Russia if Russian President Vladimir Putin chooses to invade Ukraine. However, the impact on Americans could still be significant. 

“We’re prepared to deploy all the tools and authority at our disposal to provide relief at the gas pump,” Biden said. “I will work with Congress on additional measures to help protect consumers and address the impact of prices at the pump.”

Vice President Harris met with NATO leaders in Germany on Sunday. During the meeting, Harris explained that, with Russia being one of the world leaders in oil production, Americans “may relate to energy cost.”

“When America stands for principles, and all of the things that we hold dear, it requires sometimes for us to put ourselves out there in a way that maybe we will incur some cost,” Harris said

Oil prices have already risen since the invasion, Brent crude oil has risen about $105 a barrel for the first time since 2014. 

Article by: Lexi Hamel

Photo courtesy of: Krzysztof Hepner on Unsplash