Chicago’s Gas Prices In Record Territory, Highest In Nation
“Since when is Chicago supposed to be the king of gas prices?,” asks GasBuddy’s Senior Petroleum Analyst Patrick DeHaan. “That’s usually reserved for Los Angeles or San Francisco. We’ve blown everyone else out of the water.”
But the bad news is, there doesn’t seem to be any short term relief in sight.
Normally, Chicago gas prices don’t peak until sometime between Memorial Day and the 4th of July as local refineries and gas stations begin selling the more expensive EPA mandated summer blend.
But Chicago’s gas prices are approximately 70 cents higher than last year, with the price rising approximately 80 cents per gallon in the last month, and have either exceeded or are flirting with all time records.
“This is an increase we’ve never seen before,” said DeHaan. “It is the fastest increase we’ve ever seen.”
At the beginning of last May, Chicago hit it’s previous record high gas price of $4.52 per gallon according to ChicagoGasPrices.com, but with the high recorded as $4.47 per gallon for the general Chicagoland area and $4.65 per gallon for Chicago proper.
Chicago has tied that record as of today according to ChicagoGasPrices.com and is just pennies away from a record at AAA’s Fuel Gauge Report.
“Yes, any day now,” says AAA’s Beth Mosher when asked about the inevitability of exceeding all time fuel prices in and around Chicago. “Chicago drivers have been experiencing pain at the pump for a while now. We’ve yet gone through the switchover to summer blends. Trends would tell us we go through this prices would rise.”
“We’re waaaay ahead of last year,” says DeHaan about the steep climb in pump prices. “I’m a bit concerned. Now we are at $4.50 per gallon. Is $5 gasoline really that much of a stretch? I would like to think prices will stop short of $5. But five bucks is possible.”
But is there any light on the horizon for Chicago drivers? Mosher thinks so.
Officials with AAA are meeting with President Obama on these issues today according to Mosher.
“There is acknowledgement the situation has become untenable,” says Mosher. “Steps are being taken to correct that at the highest possible levels. It’s a positive sign for consumers.”
Mosher says details of the meeting will be released tomorrow.
DeHaan is not quite as optimistic as Mosher on the issue.
“By Memorial Day or July 4th, prices may be marginally lower,” says DeHaan. “I think Chicago will spend the entire summer with gas over $4 a gallon.”