Gas Prices Skyrocket Due to Refinery Problems, Corn Prices

Officials with AAA report that gas prices will remain steady through August with a slight increase possible.


Record corn prices and refinery problems in Indiana and Illinois caused gas prices to spike at the end of July in the Chicago area and around the Midwest.

The major price increase was the first since March and the largest July increase experienced since about 2000, according to AAA. The national average gas price increased 5.1 percent or 17 cents a gallon during the month of July. 

Overall, prices were generally down during the month of July in the Chicago area, with gas prices averaging about $3.60 in the Chicago area, according to AAA Chicago. Prices increased significantly at the end of the month due to refinery problems

"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."

In addition to the refinery problems, rising corn prices have caused ethanol costs to increase about 17 percent in July, according to a story in Huffington Post.

During July, the national average price for a gallon of gas was $3.42, according to AAA. Prices locally have recently risen dramatically, reaching $3.99 at many stations around the area.

As of Thursday afternoon, the cheapest gas prices for a gallon of regular unleaded were $3.80 at the at 6801 W. 87th St.; $3.81 at the ; and $3.88 at the

Check out today's cheapest gas prices.

Prices are expected to remain flat with the possibility for a small increase during August and through Labor Day, according to AAA. After Labor Day prices should start to decline after the summer driving season. 

“Drivers will continue to face high pump prices in the weeks ahead as the summer draws to a close,” said Avery Ash, AAA spokesperson. “Relief fortunately may be around the corner as we expect gas prices to drop this fall.”

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In addition to refinery problems, do you think the spike in gas prices may have something to do with parents driving their children back to college, or the upcoming Labor Day holiday? Tell us in the comments.

STM August 03, 2012 at 11:54 AM
Yes. The price of a barrel of crude oil is way down. Price of gas is way up. Seems they have stupid reasons for the price of gas increase. Someone sneezes and price goes up. This is plain thievery. Gouging. The government does not do anything about it because they get their extra tax dollars from the increases of prices. The problems with the local refineries should not have affect on the price of gas. End of summer, Labor day should not have any affect on prices either. So basically this is out of hand greed on part of our crooked leaders and corporate heads. People are tired of this. We need a revolution in this country. Why is gas a lot cheaper in other north-western states than in Illinois? Even with the cost of transport to other states, gasoline prices are highest in Illinois out of other states in the continental USA. This has to stop.
OakLawnGuy August 03, 2012 at 12:46 PM
Actually, there really are no "reasons" to hike gas prices, only opportunities to feed the greed. Been that way since at least 9/11 if not earlier. There isn't a single business correspondent or "expert" who can provide a justifiable reason for price fluctuation, other than the desire for more profits.
tech 5 August 03, 2012 at 09:55 PM
Greedy scumbag's in local ,state and federal government !!
lou August 04, 2012 at 01:54 PM
who runs this state? the party who loves to tax
MM September 03, 2012 at 01:52 PM
Hey lou? The prices started rising significantly when your favorite Mr. Bush was in office. Lay off the democrats.


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