As it does any time strife in the Middle East reaches new levels of upheaval, the price of gas has skyrocketed in the United States, with costs in California and Santa Barbara jumping even higher. Gas is currently $4 a gallon in Montecito and around UCSB. Since February 7, the nation’s average gas price has gone from $3.11 a gallon to $3.50 a gallon. California’s median price per gallon increased from $3.38 to $3.89, and the City of Santa Barbara’s from $3.39 to $3.97. UCSB economics professor Dr. Henning Bohn explained the rise began when the futures market priced crude oil at 20 cents more per gallon last month, causing retail prices—with refinery markups included—to similarly rise. Bohn also pointed to general concern over possible oil sanctions in the Middle East with many worried about a potential sanction in Saudi Arabia.