HONOLULU (KHON2) — According to AAA, gas prices in Honolulu hit an all-time high on Thursday, and a state energy expert said prices are only expected to climb as the global energy markets remain uncertain due to the conflict between Russia and Ukraine.
Many are starting to feel the impact of their daily commute on their wallets. Elias Agbayani is a University of Hawaii student and said he is spending at least $70 a week on gas.
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“That’s not cheap at all, I remember growing up it wasn’t $4.54,” Agbayani said. “I hope it doesn’t go up any higher, to be honest. I’m a broke college student and there isn’t much I could do right now.”
AAA reported gas went up by nine cents over a week period. In Honolulu, gas averaged $4.55 a gallon, while prices on neighbor islands went even higher.
The Hawaii Chief Energy Officer Scott Glenn said prices will likely continue to go up due to the uncertainty in the global energy markets.
Glenn said, “The most we can say is with continued uncertainty, and, you know, all these market conditions and war and things happening, that most likely it’ll keep going up to some degree. But how much I really can’t say.”
Par Pacific Holdings, the parent company of Hawaii’s only oil refinery announced it is suspending its purchases of crude oil from Russia.
Glenn said he supports that decision and that “I think it’s about time. You know, we’ve always had some concern about relying on Russian oil.”
He said the state is not anticipating supply concerns, Par Pacific said it will tap on crude oil supply from North and South America.
Glenn said the federal government’s release of oil from the strategic petroleum reserve into the market should help stabilize fuel costs.
Produce Distributor D’Otani Produce is also feeling the strains from the cost of gas. The company’s Producer Buyer and Operations Kimo Muraki said, “I can’t estimate dollar-wise, but it has increased anywhere to about 20% to 30%.”
As for plane tickets, Hawaiian Airlines said it sources fuel from a variety of suppliers and continues to monitor the crude oil market, and prices are driven by demand and cannot comment on future fairs.
Glenn said the price uncertainty underscores the need for Hawaii to transition into locally produced renewable energy.
As for distributors and everyday drivers, they are doing what they can to save up on gas.
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California visitor Janet Mura said, “I try to do like a bunch of errands at one time.”