Gas Prices Soar Past $4 Mark in New Lenox
Experts blaming Midwest refinery problems and say there likely won't be a decrease until after Labor Day.
Motorists in New Lenox are paying $4.15 a gallon of regular at most stations, including all three Speedway stations and the 7-11 station. The Shell-owned Circle K station on Nelson Road and U.S. Route 30 along with BP on Route 30 and Cedar Road are charging $4.19 for a gallon of regular.
Despite the bump up in prices, New Lenox resident Pat Shepard said he has no choice but to fill up his Ford pick-up truck.
"I drive 80 miles a day," he said about his commute. Filling up at a Speedway stations, Alfonso Bravo, of New Lenox, chalked the price increase off to business.
"It's expensive, but you've got to pay it."
AAA Chicago is saying that refinery problems in Illinois and Indiana are behind gas price increases that took the cost to more than $4 a gallon in the Chicago area, according to the State Journal Register.
Nationwide, gas prices have risen from an average of 3.32 per gallon of regular to $3.53 per gallon of regular in the last month, according to AAA.
"Illinois, Indiana and states in the Midwest have seen prices rise since last week due to production issues at the BP refinery in Whiting, Ind. and the Citgo refinery in Lemont," Beth Mosher, director of public affairs for AAA Chicago said in a news release.
"With the supply from these refineries impacted, and the associated increase in wholesale prices already seen in the region, there is reason to suspect that prices in the areas supplied by these facilities may continue to rise until the situation is resolved."
Nationwide, prices are rising due to corn prices which have caused ethanol costs to increase about 17 percent in July, according to the Huffington Post.
Gas prices rise four times faster than they fall after the wholesale price changes, according to a 2010 Federal Trade Commission (FTC) study. USA Today says that, according to the study, some retailers sell at a loss when wholesale prices are high and try to make up for it when prices go down.
AAA says prices should begin to decline again after Labor Day.
Gas prices have been a hot topic in New Lenox, especially after Mayor Tim Baldermann called for residents to boycott local stations in April with the goal of bringing prices closer to neighboring towns.