Many reasons behind region's recent spike in gas prices

2012-08-02T00:00:00Z 2012-08-21T22:49:31Z Many reasons behind region's recent spike in gas pricesBy BILL NOVAK | Capital Newspapers La Crosse Tribune
August 02, 2012 12:00 am  • 

An oil pipeline break in rural Adams County is only one of the reasons gas prices shot up Wednesday in Wisconsin cities, a AAA spokeswoman said.

Auto club AAA said the statewide average for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline went up 4.5 cents in one day to $3.632, with drivers in Janesville and Milwaukee seeing prices rise more than 6 cents.

In La Crosse, drivers are paying $3.64 per gallon for regular. That’s a 10 cent increase from last week, when gas was at $3.549.

The price increases for gas in July are the largest for the month in a dozen years, and the first monthly increase since March.

And analysts expect prices to go even higher before summer ends.

AAA spokeswoman Pam Moen said four things driving up gas prices in the upper Midwest, including the Enbridge Energy pipeline break near Grand Marsh, which resulted in 1,200 barrels of oil being spilled before the line was shut down.

“We have two pipeline issues and two refinery issues right now that are affecting the prices,” Moen said.

The Enbridge pipeline carries light crude oil from Canada to Chicago area refineries. The West Shore pipeline services Green Bay and Upper Michigan, and there’s a BP refinery in Whiting, Indiana, and a Citgo refinery in Lamont, Illinois.

“These situations are tightening gas supplies in the Midwest, which drives up the price,” Moen said.

Patrick DeHaan, a senior petroleum analyst from GasBuddy.com expects “a majority of gas stations to have increased prices at least 10-35 cents per gallon by Friday evening,” according to a press release.

He said the situation will be “temporary in nature,” but prices will “remain high” as long as problems with the pipeline and refineries continue.

In the six metropolitan markets in Wisconsin surveyed by AAA for the daily fuel gauge report, Madison drivers are paying the least for regular at an average $3.592 a gallon, followed by Janesville at $3.596, Green Bay at $3.613, La Crosse, Milwaukee at $3.653 and Eau Claire at $3.701.

Rising oil prices and greater demand for gas in the summer driving season are the primary factors in a national increase.

“We had some relief in gas prices earlier this year and the outlook was good, but the tensions in Iran put pressure on oil prices, so gas prices started going back up,” Moen said.

Hawaii still has the highest average price for regular in the U.S. at $4.146 a gallon, while South Carolina has the lowest average at $3.221.

AAA said gas prices should be flat or slightly higher in August, then start to come down after Labor Day when the summer driving season ends and demand typically decreases.

Copyright 2015 La Crosse Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(8) Comments

  1. David Jarzemski
    Report Abuse
    David Jarzemski - August 02, 2012 6:13 pm
    Whine whine whine...don't want to pay the higher prices?, start walking or riding the bus or your bike.

    Case Closed!!!
  2. Muddy
    Report Abuse
    Muddy - August 02, 2012 4:17 pm
    Wind turbines could never power all the cars in the US..Period
    Wind is in no way our hope.
  3. Frangel45
    Report Abuse
    Frangel45 - August 02, 2012 3:57 pm
    In an interview this morning on the news - this oil company big-wig said it wouldn't be such a problem if there weren't so many regulations!! Sure, just let you jerks destroy our environment with impunity. I agree, raising prices at every little sniff of inconvenience on their part is used to raise prices - yep, they do have us over the proverbial barrel and they really enjoy that behind closed doors over drinks and cigars!!
  4. GrandpaS
    Report Abuse
    GrandpaS - August 02, 2012 1:05 pm
    Electric cars, refined and improved year after year, and charged by electricity that is generated by wind turbines that produce no carbon pollution. When will that happen?

    $4 billion a year in subsidies to the oil industry from American taxpayers. When will that stop?

    When American voters demand it, and not until then.
  5. Eaglewatcher
    Report Abuse
    Eaglewatcher - August 02, 2012 11:50 am
    So your equipment broke or whatever your ISSUE is.
    Big deal I can't raise my prices everytime something breaks on my job.
  6. HonestAbe
    Report Abuse
    HonestAbe - August 02, 2012 11:17 am
    “These situations are tightening gas supplies in the Midwest, which drives up the price,” Moen said.

    What is this, an ebay auction? Only auctions drive up prices, you folks are just crooked and making excuses!
  7. HonestAbe
    Report Abuse
    HonestAbe - August 02, 2012 11:16 am
    “We have two pipeline issues and two refinery issues right now that are affecting the prices,” Moen said.

    Ya, so um, make an insurance claim ... you do have insurance for your equipment don't you?
  8. HonestAbe
    Report Abuse
    HonestAbe - August 02, 2012 11:14 am
    THATS a whole lotta ccrrrraaaap.

    Nice attempt at an excuse .. I mean, I'm sure the oil / gas companies are too broke to afford insurance for such happenings. We can just cover your failures, what the heck, it's not like we're paying too much already.

    they know they have us over a barrel

    scumbags
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