Gas Prices Take Drastic Jump
(Le Mars) -- Don't look now, but gasoline prices are near or at four dollars a gallon, jumping up fifty cents per gallon within the last few days. Local prices are at $3.94 for ethanol unleaded and $4.04 a gallon for regular unleaded. Gail Weinhoulzer is the Public Affairs Director with the Triple A motor club for Minnesota and Iowa. She says the spike in gasoline prices can be contributed to several factors. The first reason is oil companies are required to make a switch over from winter blended fuels to summer blended fuels. But perhaps more significant to the Midwest is that two refineries located near Chicago have shut down for general maintenance.
The AAA official says the spike in gasoline prices is primarily limited to the Midwest. Weinhoulzer says it will be sometime after Memorial Day when both refineries are back on line, but she says don't look for the price of gasoline to drop.
Will the sudden spike in gasoline prices change people's minds about traveling for the Memorial Day Holiday weekend?
Weinhoulzer does expect to see a continued modest price increase for gasoline within the next few days and possibly weeks. However, barring any disaster such as a hurricane in the gulf region, or a war in the Mideast, she doesn't see gasoline prices passing the next level of $5 a gallon.
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