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Singing those gasoline blues

May 22, 2013 - Bill Speer
There is both good and bad news today.

The good news - as of May 22 when I write this, gas is still below $4 a gallon for regular unleaded here in Alpena.

The bad news - it could still rise and, at $3.99 a gallon, it wouldn't take much to push it over that mark.

Earlier this week I was in Minneapolis, where gas was $4.44 a gallon or higher at every station I passed. It made me sick.

Here is a press release from, one of the industry's leading online analysts regarding gas prices.

CHICAGO (May 22) – The national average price of gasoline has increased 9.5 cents a gallon this past week (to $3.68) and casual observers are quick to blame the approaching Memorial Weekend and the holiday’s expected uptick in demand as the culprit.

But this year, despite tepid consumer demand coast to coast, gas prices are rising rapidly in the nation’s heartland and that’s due to refinery problems that have severely reduced supply from four refineries to the mid-continent and Great Lakes region.

With refinery issues curtailing fuel production in Oklahoma, Kansas, Indiana and Illinois, it’s the middle of the county that is experiencing the nation’s worst price volatility, so much so that Minnesota now has the highest- priced gas in the continental U.S. (not California, Illinois or New York).

“There’s no doubt that many markets in the upper Midwest and mid-continent regions may reach new record high prices in the days ahead while some records going back to the run-up of 2008 have already been broken this past week,” said Patrick DeHaan, senior petroleum analyst, GasBuddy.

“With Memorial Weekend approaching we anticipate lesser price activity along the coastal regions; perhaps some nominal increases in major travel corridors,” DeHaan added, “but the mid-Continent and Great Lakes region should be ready for additional increases of 10 to 20 cents more in the week ahead.”


Article Comments



Jun-01-13 2:55 PM

Today gas in Bristol VA and Corpus Christi TX is $3.14. In Alpena its $4.15. Its hard to believe that prices could vary that much. If we have enough fuel to send to other countries, you would think we would take care of our own first.


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