By Jessica Mathews /

The pain at the pump is real as gas prices soared to a new record all-time high on Wednesday.

AAA Michigan reports gas prices in Metro Detroit were at $4.25 per gallon for regular unleaded. Spokeswoman Adrienne Woodland says that’s up a staggering 64 cents compared to this time last week. The previous all-time high was set back in May of 2011, when prices were at $4.24 a gallon for regular unleaded.

Woodland told WHMI at this point in time, it’s hard to predict where prices will land but if they continue to increase at the current rate, motorists will be seeing higher prices at the pump. She says crude oil prices have been a big driver and since Russia invaded Ukraine, crude oil has gone up roughly $32 a barrel and that alone equates to an increase of about 80-cents per gallon of gasoline.

Woodland says the fluctuation in gas prices truly depends on the price of crude oil, which is under several stressors right now but most notably the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Beyond the Russia Ukraine conflict, she says there’s been an increase in gas demand alongside a reduction in supply – which is also driving the increases that motorists are seeing

Also on Wednesday, the GOP-led Michigan House approved a plan to suspend the state’s tax on gasoline and diesel fuels - which are among the highest in the nation. It was approved 63-19, mostly with GOP support, and would remove the tax for the next six months through the end of the fiscal year.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer recently joined five other Democratic governors in urging Congress to pause the 18.4-cents-a-gallon federal gasoline tax for the rest of the year to alleviate pump prices. She does not support temporarily freezing the state’s 27.2-cents-per-gallon gas tax. It funds construction work, or the 6% sales tax on fuel, which mostly goes to schools and local governments under the state constitution.

Local Republican State Representatives Ann Bollin of Brighton Township and Bob Bezotte of Marion Township both supported the House plan – asserting it’s something that should be done at the state level as the federal tax is less than the state’s rate and Michigan has surplus revenues available. Their press releases are attached.

The Detroit Free Press reported that “the non-partisan House Fiscal Agency suggested the measure would cost the state roughly $725 million. Analysts also noted there's no guarantee gas station owners would change prices, even if the tax is repealed”.

House Bill 5570 now advances to the Senate, where a vote is planned next week to send the measure to the governor’s desk.