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Crisis In Libya Sends Gas Prices Even Higher

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(Credit: CBS)

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CHICAGO (CBS) – The chaos in Libya has caused oil prices to skyrocket.

As CBS 2’s Roseanne Tellez reports, the price of crude oil was up to $98 a barrel on Wednesday, the highest rate in two years.

“I would seriously, seriously contemplate spending the $3 to drive out to the suburbs to fill the tank up there and maybe save $10,” driver Fred Scovell said.

Chicago area motorists said the recent spike in gas prices hits even harder in the city because of the numerous taxes at the pump.

“They’re out of control,” Scovell said. “I’m feeling it.”

A local Shell station manager said that, on Tuesday, the price of a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline was $3.58. On Wednesday, it shot up to $3.69 a gallon.

“Usually I fill up in the suburbs, but coming into the city I have no choice. It just gets tougher and tougher,” driver Nick Ward said.

The average price of gas in Chicago on Wednesday was $3.39 a gallon. In Illinois, the average was $3.30. Last week, those prices were $3.32 and $3.24, respectively.

“At some point push comes to shove and drivers aren’t going to drive the way they did before,” said Jack Ablin, an investment officer who watches gas prices closely.

Ablin, said that, unless things get worse in the Middle East, “I would expect crude will stay at this level and hopefully subside and come back down.”

For now, people are still driving, but they have to cut spending somewhere.

“Our cigarette sales go down and other things, drinks go down, just because of gas,” one gas station manager said.

Motorist Kaleisha Keenan said the higher gas prices make her nervous “because summertime’s approaching and is it going to go up even more?”

The AAA Motor Club said it expects prices to continue climbing until either things are resolved in Libya, or some other measures are taken to cut gas prices.

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