Chicago gas prices among highest in nation

May 10, 2010 (CHICAGO)

Another survey out Thursday afternoon by the U.S. Energy Information Administration ranks Chicago's prices a little lower in third behind Los Angeles and San Francisco. Either way, we're paying more at the pump.

Gasoline prices have been climbing now for the past several months and motorists are feeling the pinch.

"I'm afraid the gas prices arel going to go back to where they were in 2008, 2009, almost $4 or $5 a gallon," said Herschel Walker, motorist.

"Buy a little bit at a time. Ten dollars here instead of filling up the tank or $15 here and to take advantage of the fluctuation," said Sharon King, motorist.

But rising gas prices in the spring are not unusual.

"Prices tend to go up around the Memorial Day weekend as we get into the summer vacationing season, so this is really not unusual," said Nick Jarmusz, AAA.

Gas is especially expensive in our area because of a variety of hefty taxes and a special type of fuel we use.

"What we call the Chicago blend. It's a type of gasoline that is kind of a political concoction and is only made by few refineries," said said Phil Flynn, PFG Best Research.

The Environmental Protection Agency mandates that we burn this blended fuel from June 1 to September 15 in order to reduce emissions.

One of the easiest ways to improve your gas mileage is to keep your tires well inflated; keep your tank more than 1/4 full; travel during off peak hours; and driving at or below the speed limit can substantially stretch your gas dollar.

While the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico is an environmental disaster, it is not having an effect on oil prices.

"That was oil that's the market wasn't really counting on. It wasn't supposed to come to market this summer driving season. It was an exploratory well. It doesn't figure into the equation," said Flynn.

Gas prices will likely continue to fluctuate.

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