Pain at the pump in Chicago

April 25, 2008 3:49:00 PM PDT
Four-dollar-a-gallon gasoline has arrived in the Chicago area.Some stations in the city were even selling regular unleaded gas at prices above $4 Friday night.

Gas prices are continuing to climb.

"Citgo used to be a discount station, but they're all the same," motorist Dennis Urell said.

Many drivers are wondering is $4-dollars the limit?

Hollywood's take on the future in the movie I am Legend had the startling image of gas costing well above $6 per gallon. Some drivers say they wouldn't be surprised if that happens in real life.

"It's killing us, man. You can get a six-pack of beer before you get a gallon of gas," said driver Shawn Denman.

As Denman paid nearly $60 to fill up his car, across the street, ironically, a man rode in a horse-drawn carriage. It was a throwback to the days when transportation was cheaper and when having some horsepower did not mean breaking the bank.

"It's definitely putting a hole in my pocket," said motorist Orlando Sanchez

Sanchez just bought his SUV because he wanted the space for his newborn twins, but the rising cost of gas means he can only afford half a tank.

"I'm not even going to fill it up. I'm going to put in 30 bucks, " he said.

But the demand for gas is still high.

Russell Sumner recently delivered 8,700 gallons of gas to the Shell at the intersection of Chicago and Orleans.

"This station gets filled every day at least once," Sumner said.

Although studies show drivers are cutting back on the time they spend behind the wheel in response to the rising gas prices, gas is still a hot commodity.

"Prices might come down if demand comes down, but, right now, the demand is still there. People are still filling up," said Nicole Niemi of AAA Chicago.

According to the AAA Web site, www.fuelgaugereport.com, the national average price of a gallon of unleaded gas is $3.57. The average price in Illinois is higher: $3.71 per gallon.


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