Gas prices go up

May 13, 2009 (CHICAGO) According to AAA, the national average price of gasoline is $2.27 a gallon. In Illinois, it's $2.44 a gallon. And in Chicago, regular unleaded gas costs an average of $2.57 a gallon for regular unleaded gas.

Prices in Chicago have surged more than 20 percent in the last month.

Many of us were getting accustomed to lower gas prices. However, gas prices are creeping up. But they are not as high as they were last year at almost $4 a gallon in Chicago.

"It's getting a little out of control. It went down for a while but it's starting to creep back up," said Pete Hartman.

"They're inching up but still not terrible. Not as bad as they have been," said Michelle Golden.

Gas prices at the Shell station in Oak Park at Roosevelt and Harlem are topping off at $2.65 a gallon. Across the street at the BP, regular goes for $2.62 and $2.72 a gallon for premium.

According to AAA, gas prices are $1.50 lower compared to the same time last year.

"In the spring they switch to a different blenched gasoline that is not as expensive to refine. I'm not expecting prices to go as high as last summer," said Nicole Niemi, AAA.

Phil Flynn of Alaron Futures and options says the economy is one reason prices are going up.

"Oil has gone up dramatically since the federal reserve instituted the policy of quantitative easing, which is basically printing more money to save the economy," said Phil Flynn.

Another factor in the price is the switch to a summer blend of gasoline that lessens harmful emissions.

Some drivers question whether summer blend is necessary and why is costs more higher in Chicago and Illinois.

In Chicago at the corner of Clark and North Avenue, gas prices are higher. At the Shell regular goes for $2.89. It is the same at the BP just down the block. Full serve is as high as $3.69 a gallon


Candis Henderson says it pays to have a smaller vehicle. But she thinks prices are still is too high.

"They're ridiculous but what can you do? They're real high but it's tough all over," said Flynn.

Triple AAA has some tips for driving smarter and lowering your cost of gas:

  • Make sure your tires are properly inflated ...all at the same amount of pressure
  • Do not make sudden or quick starts
  • Drive at a steady rate of speed and set cruise control if able to do that.
  • Keep air- conditioner on the re-circulation setting.
  • Little things like that can add up to a substantial savings.

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