Chicago most expensive for gas again

March 23, 2012 3:42:00 PM PDT
Chicago is No. 1 once again when it comes to drivers feeling the worst pain at the pump and in their wallets.

AAA reports gas prices in the region have jumped more than 70 cents/gallon over the past month, bringing the price for a gallon of regular close to $5.

Experts blame the spike on demand from Asia, conflict in the Middle East and gas stations switching to more expensive summer blends.

Last year at this time, the average price was $3.92/gallon and last month prices were hovering around $3.81/gallon.

Friday, AAA records the average price at $4.62/gallon and it's not difficult to find some stations selling a gallon of regular close to $4.90/gallon.

People are frustrated with sky rocketing gas prices and it has gotten so bad, some are rethinking keeping their gas-guzzling Cars.

The weather is gloomy and so are drivers having to fuel up with high gas prices.

Prices are close to $4.50/gallon at a Winnetka gas station and it's even higher in other places across Chicagoland.

"I think they are ridiculous, demand is down in America but prices are up," said Jesse Stamer.

Experts say oil prices have been high recently because demand globally is expected to reach a record this year.

When the price of crude oil goes up, so does the price at the pump.

"Prices in Chicago are just ridiculous because of some refining situations, switch over to summer gasoline is also upcoming," said Patrick DeHaan, "There are some concerns in the market surrounding tightness and supply because of those refinery outages."

The fluctuating prices is one of the reasons Mark Feierberg fecided to go electric. Driving it since January, he's already reaping the benefits.

"This is the car for people who don't want to spend a fortune, but want a car that they will save a lot of money on," Feierberg said.

Fully charged, Feierberg's Nissan Leaf can go over 100 miles. With some smart planning, that means big savings.

"It's been very inexpensive," he said. "It probably runs me around $3 for 100 miles of driving."

With gas prices threatening to reach $5/gallon by the summer, many people are starting to think about better ways to get to where they need to go.

"I would consider buying a scooter, I've thought about it in the past." said Lauri Chez. "Last year I thought about it, but maybe this year."

If you are considering buying an electric car, they are not that cheap. There are, however, a lot of different tax incentives to take advantage of that will lower the price.