AAA: State, City Gas Prices Highest Ever Recorded For March
The statewide average for March had the average price of unleaded gasoline in Illinois selling at a record $4.10 a gallon, 44 cents per gallon higher than last year according to AAA’s Fuel Gauge Report.
While pump pain was even more pronounced in Chicago as the city gas stations also averaged a record of $4.68 per gallon–the highest gas price in the nation for March.
Both state and city prices were up a breathtaking 52 cents a gallon during March and a whopping 86 cents a gallon since the start of the year.
“The seasonal switch over to a summer blend of gasoline, combined with high prices for oil and especially high prices for the reformulated blend of gasoline used in Chicago left consumers altering daily commute plans and family budgets this month,” said Beth Mosher, director of public affairs for AAA Chicago.
While area gas prices have moderated a bit over the past few days according to ChicagoGasPrices.com, some experts believe even higher prices are still to come as we get closer to the Memorial Day holiday when gas prices traditionally are highest.
Because gas stations are still converting to the annual federally imposed, cleaner burning summer gas blend, and demand is highest during the summer, at least one petroleum analyst thinks $5 per gallon gas in not out of the question.
“I’m a bit concerned,” says GasBuddy.com’s Patrick DeHaan. “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.”