Ukraine-Russia Crisis: U.S. gas prices expected to soar

The impact of a Russian invasion in Ukraine will be felt far from the front lines. The United States could be hit with the economic fallout, particularly with rising gas prices and energy costs.

"My administration is using every tool at our disposal to protect American businesses and consumers from rising prices at the pump," President Joe Biden said on Tuesday. 

Worries about Russia invading Ukraine have sent oil prices surging toward $100 a barrel. The U.S. is now bracing for pain, especially at the pump.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell by more than 480 points on Tuesday.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina, said gas prices will go up "significantly."

And Professor Sharyn O'Halloran, who specializes in political economics and international and public affairs at Columbia University, agrees.

"Yes, gas prices will most likely go up," O'Halloran said.

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Russia is a major energy producer, and Europe relies heavily on Russia for oil and natural gas. As a result, Europe will bear more of the brunt of the sanctions against Russia in the form of an economic slowdown. 

"We don't have that many trade relations with Russia, we don't get our gas from Russia," O'Halloran said. "However, we do trade with people who do get gas from Russia who will have to deal with an economic slowdown."

And she said that will spill over into the U.S. rippling through our economy.

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"It slows the economy because less people in Europe will have money to buy our goods and services," O'Halloran said. "Therefore, there will be less demand for us and that means that firms will hire less people."

This is coming at a time when the U.S. is trying to recover from the pandemic while dealing with rising food prices in recent months.

"The price of meat is going up. The price of bread is going up, and milk," O'Halloran said. "It's going to put the American worker in a squeeze."