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$4.99 at the gas pump sets record in West Michigan

For drivers out there, it's both frustrating and concerning. Just two days ago, gas prices increased to about $4.80 per gallon.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich — It's a first for a lot of us in West Michigan, $5 per gallon for gas. 

Fuel prices are now at record highs, with many gas stations in our area at $4.99 as of Thursday night. 

Right now in the U.S., the low supply of gas and the high demand for it aren't matching up, which is one of the reasons why we're seeing these prices.

"Do I want to pay $5 for gas? No. I don't think nobody really wants to pay $5, practically $5 for some gas," Justis Williams, a gas station customer, says. 

For drivers out there, it's both frustrating and concerning. Just two days ago, gas prices increased to about $4.80 per gallon.

"It's like you're paying as much money as you making the day just to fill up so it's ridiculous," Williams says.

"It's definitely hard being a mom of four, trying to provide for them and also trying to get them everywhere they need to go," Hayley Strickland, a gas station customer, says.

The average cost to fill a tank for a sedan starts at about $50. For an SUV, it's almost $70. And for a pickup truck, the cost is in the triple digits. Some West Michigan drivers say this means they have to change their spending habits.

"It's sad for summertime, too, because you want to go out and enjoy the time you have with your kids, but you kind of have to cut things out," Strickland says.

"We have to cut a lot of costs to, you know, for our business and home life. So it's very crazy right now with the prices," Shay Walker, a gas station customer, says.

Experts say relief isn't coming anytime soon. Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy, says because we're not getting oil from Russia anymore, it's impossible to quickly offset the amount of gas the country was getting from them.

"The best option is basically, if Russia were to exit Ukraine, and there'd be a regime change in Russia. That's really the only, you know, potential that I could see that brings meaningful and quick relief," De Haan says. "And that's obviously an extreme long shot."

Another scenario that could lower gas prices is a recession.

"If we see a very hard economic recession, suddenly demand plummets, and suddenly prices plummet," De Haan says. 

He adds that it's likely that gas will cost more than $5 per gallon by the Fourth of July, and there is a small chance we could reach $6 per gallon here in West Michigan.

"Seeing this in my lifetime is pretty scary," Walker says. 

It's expected that gas prices will remain above $4 at least during the summer. 

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