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The impact of global conflict and economic instability on gas prices

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The Russian invasion of Ukraine is causing price increases and volatility for the two most widely traded global commodities: oil and gas.

Crude oil prices have spiked in response to provocation by Russia — the second-largest oil and gas exporter in the world — in Ukraine, which is a major transit route for Russian gas.

The average price for gas in the U.S. has now topped $4 per gallon for the first time since 2008.

Does political instability always have such a dramatic impact on oil and gas prices? Are price fluctuations to be expected when there is conflict in oil-producing countries?

Will the ongoing conflict drive the cost of fuel even higher, and for how long? How much is Big Oil profiting from higher prices?

What can be done to reduce pressure on U.S. consumers at the pump? Will sanctions help? Is "American energy independence" a solution?

Is it time to pump up U.S. oil production in response to the conflict or accelerate a transition to sustainable energy sources?


  • Jim Krane, Ph.D., Wallace S. Wilson Fellow for Energy Studies at Rice University's Baker Institute for Public Policy
  • Varun Rai, Ph.D., LBJ School associate dean for research and professor of public affairs at the University of Texas at Austin
  • Morgan Bazilian, Ph.D., director of the Payne Institute for Public Policy and professor at the Colorado School of Mines

"The Source" is a live call-in program airing Mondays through Thursdays from 12-1 p.m. Leave a message before the program at (210) 615-8982. During the live show, call 833-877-8255, email thesource@tpr.org or tweet @TPRSource.

*This interview was recorded on Tuesday, March 8.

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