Chicago’s Rising Gas Prices

As the warmer months creep up on us, gas prices rise as we switch over from winter to summer gasoline. Yes, that’s right, there’s a difference between winter & summer gasoline. 

According to our friends at How Stuff Works, Gas prices often go up during the summer, starting around Memorial Day [Source: EPA]. There are many reasons behind the increase in summer fuel prices, and some are fairly logical. More people traveling, increases demand. Also, in the spring months, energy companies conduct maintenance on their refineries, shutting them down and limiting capacity until late May. Because of these disruptions, oil supplies can become stretched.

Summer-blended gas contains more costly compounds that burn cleaner, working to reduce smog during the hot summer months, said Gregg Laskoski, a senior petroleum analyst from GasBuddy [Source: Accuweather].

But there’s more, gas prices soared to a 19-month high in Illinois for a specific reason.  

The Chicago Tribune reports: 

Gas prices cruised to a 19-month high across the U.S. last week as refineries began switching to more expensive summer-blend gasoline, with maintenance issues at two refineries accelerating the increase in Illinois, according to AAA.

The national average price for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline hit $2.39 Monday, up 6 cents in a week, and 35 cents higher than a year ago, according to AAA.

Illinois ranks among the top 10 most expensive states in the nation at $2.51 per gallon, up 9 cents in a week. Chicago-area gas prices went up 10 cents to $2.64 per gallon.

Maintenance issues with the BP refinery in Whiting, Ind., and Phillips 66’s Wood River refinery in southern Illinois caused regional prices to jump faster than most, said Beth Mosher, AAA Chicago spokeswoman.

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