Gas Prices Highest Ever For Time Of Year

CHICAGO (CBS/WBBM) — Gasoline prices in Illinois are the highest they’ve ever been for this time of year, with no relief in sight.

As WBBM Newsradio 780’s Bernie Tafoya reports, gas prices average $3.22 per gallon in Illinois. AAA spokeswoman Beth Mosher says the cold weather is to blame, since demand for crude oil for heating drove the price of oil up to $90 per barrel.

LISTEN: Newsradio 780’s Bernie Tafoya reports

“We’re well below the $4 mark. We’re not even thinking about that at this point in time,” Mosher said. “But nonetheless, prices are very, very high – almost 40 cents higher than they were at this time last year.”

The highest prices in the area are in suburban Cook County, at $3.37 per gallon. In the city, prices averaged $3.29 a gallon.

Back in the summer of 2008, gas prices spiked at around $4. Far from a mere inconvenience, the fuel price drove up the prices of food and other commodities.

Some consumers became convinced that the world had reached or passed the dreaded point of “peak oil,” in which the world’s production begins to decline due to skyrocketed demand and dwindling sources. Self-described “Cassandras” warned of an apocalyptic future in which industrial society and the global marketplace would collapse and give way to local micro-economies with backyard farms, abandoned malls and marauding hordes.

Some “peak oil” adherents were expecting oil prices to be skyrocketing to $300 per barrel. But after the economy collapsed in the fall of 2008, the price of oil fell below $40.

Still, one expert says the oil prices, and by extension gas prices, will likely spike higher than they did three years ago. Former Shell president John Hofmeister said he expected gasoline to cost $5 per gallon in 2012, and “the only way for Americans to avoid 5 dollar gasoline is to use less.”

Hofmeister blamed the government’s clampdown on offshore drilling and increased needs for gas in Asia for his predicted drop in supply.

CBS News contributed to this report.

  • David

    Who are they trying to kid? Does John Hofmeister really believe that if we use less gas, prices will come down? Look at ALL of the gas consumption reports. Every single one of them has been showing less and less consumption and prices are still rising. They want us to beileive that prices have been rising due to the lower value in the dollar and the such but that really isn’t the case. The market is well supplied and we are not having shortages by any means. The only thing in the world that will drive prices back down and get them within supply and demand range is for the speculators to be kicked in the head and out of business driving up prices. Call your US Senators and Congress people and get them off their butts and push through the legislation that would limit the excessive speculation that has been happening for the past 10 years they have been sitting on thanks to the lobbiests of Big Oil and Wall Street.

  • Jim

    Wall street is at it again. Artificial supply and demand jacking up the prices!

  • Roberta Waker

    We have enough crude oil in the Dakotas to supply the United States for 100+ years. Why aren’t we drilling for this oil? We wouldn’t need the Saudis or anyone else – our country can be self sufficient with crude in our own country. Wake up America, push Congress to allow drilling for oil in the Dakotas and STOP enriching the billionaires who continue to rip us off. Wall Street needs to be shut down – THEY are driving the prices of crude beyond what we should be paying. PERIOD.

  • David Starr

    There is an outfit called, I joined them (it doesn’t
    cost anything to join) and then when I fill up, I keep the receipt and mail
    it in to get a 50% rebate on the amount I spent for gas. However, there is
    an upper limit that you can do each month I think it is $200 or something
    like that — but believe me an extra couple of hundred bucks a month
    gives my family our weekly trip to the movies again… or you can always
    buy more gas.. LOL. Here’s the link

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