AAA: Distribution, taxes, supply factors in gas prices

June 17, 2011 4:40:58 AM PDT
Gas prices remain stubbornly high in Chicago. But why?

With the thick of the summer driving season approaching, gas prices normally go up nationally due to demand for travel. However, right now they're dropping- just a bit,

"It's wonderful. That's what I know. It should go down another dollar, though, and then I would be real happy," Jim Magno, driver, said.

In the last couple of weeks, prices have dropped from an average of $4.55 to $4.21.

"I would like it lower but I will take this," said Myra Mathews, driver, said.

Gas has fallen 26 cents in the last month. AAA Chicago reports lower gas prices compared to last month. However, the gas is still a dollar more than this time last year. While the average price is down, gas isn't going down everywhere due to local taxes, recent supply, and distribution issues.

"We have seen some problems with the distribution of refined gasoline. There was a refinery down in Joliet that had maintenance issues so it slowed down its production. There was also an issue with the pipeline that comes down from Canada and feeds our local refineries and that caused a little bit of a shortage in the available supply of refined gasoline," Nick Jarmusz, AAA Chicago, said.

Station owners who bought their gas prior to the problem can pass the savings on to their customers. Customers at one Lombard station were grateful to catch a break -- no matter what the reason.

"But anything under $4, even if I didn't need a lot of gas, I would have gotten gas anyway to fill it up, because it was so much cheaper," Nancy Greco said.

"Actually, I live in the city and come here in Lombard to fill up on my gas because of prices are really good. So they have gone down just a few cents but not that much. You know what I mean?" Gail Brady said.

Gas was $3.95 a gallon of regular at the Lombard station.

Triple A is in the process of making predictions for Fourth of July travel. Over Memorial Day, there was a slight increase in traveling.

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