Chicago gas prices higher than national average

December 29, 2010 (CHICAGO)

"It's ridiculously high," Raven Winters said.

"They are ridiculous," Carl Cook said.

"They're ridiculous, they really are," Marva Stanley said.

"It's ridiculous. With these prices the best thing to do is stop driving and just take the CTA, that's what I'm going to start doing," said Keith Johnson said.

In the last week, gas prices in Chicago have seen an average increase of 10 cents a gallon, 24 cents over the last month. And with oil prices at a two-year high, some people are wondering when it will stop.

"Right now, I'm at a fourth of a tank. I'm going to spend 45 to 50 dollars to fill up today. I've definitely noticed the change and it hurts," Raven Winters said.

Energy analyst and trader Daniel Flynn says the increase in gas prices has been brought on by a combination of factors including inflation and bad weather this winter.

Some economists worry that high energy prices could slow down the nation's economy, but Flynn says a lot will depend on what the new congress does once they take over.

"If the government doesn't print more money we will see the market top out, and we'll see it at the pump eventually," he said.

"I'm just going to have to budget myself better and don't make costly moves," Carl Cook said.

A few days ago, a former Shell executive predicted gas prices could reach $5 a gallon by 2010. His comments have fueled quite a debate, with analysts evenly split as to whether they believe this could happen.

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