Devastation In Japan Leads To Drop In Gas Prices

DES PLAINES, Ill. (CBS) — Gas prices are still hovering around $4 per gallon in Chicago, but the disaster in Japan could actually bring them down a bit.

As CBS 2’s Susanna Song reports, the average price of regular unleaded in Chicago is $3.71, about 1 cent cheaper than a week ago. At the Des Plaines Oasis Mobil station Monday morning, the price was $3.73 for regular, and $3.97 for super unleaded.

Now experts say in the short-term, the prices could continue to fall because of the devastation in Japan.

The tragedy of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan last Friday has halted the fast-paced Japanese society, leading to a decline in the demand in oil there, and thus, a drop in worldwide oil prices and gas prices here at home.

AAA says Japan is the third largest consumer of crude oil.

Back in the U.S., in the past month, gas prices have surged up 37 cents, as a result of anxiety over unrest in the Middle East and North Africa.

While gas prices are starting to fall now, U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) is also calling on President Obama to help bring gas prices down in the long-term.

“As families and businesses are facing these high gas prices, I’ll be working with President Obama to urge him to release the strategic petroleum reserves so we can start stabilizing and bring these gas prices down,” Durbin said.

Experts say this week, prices will likely drop about 1 to 2 cents because of the woes in Japan. But it’s unclear how the prices will look in the coming weeks.

  • Gerry

    Chicago sucks. The reason their gas is so high is because they are taxed to death.

    • Mike

      Yeah, I’m glad I left that city and Rahm behind…

  • March 14, 2011 | Medicalreunion's Blog

    […] Devastation In Japan Leads To Drop In Gas Prices… […]

  • March 14, 2011 | Medicalreunion's Blog

    […] Devastation In Japan Leads To Drop In Gas Prices… […]

  • Fanny Forbes Franklen

    “No one ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public.” ~ H. L. Mencken


    • Vinnie

      While it’s _possible_ Mencken said what you posted, it’s for certain he said, “No one ever went broke underestimating the taste of the American public.”

  • Sniffit

    BIg Oilbama and his friends really have us snookered don’t they!

    • Dave

      Speak for yourself.

      • Sniffit

        You try to act smart but you’re prob just another racist redneck republican.

        Big Oilbama laughs at your attempts

  • lll

    wow 1 to 2 cents….oh boy I can hardly wait. what a waste of newsprint.

  • BoboLobo

    Hey anonymous, considering that the US was dragged kicking and screaming into WWII and then attacked by Japan, you really need to relearn your history.

    • justsaying

      Maybe you need to relearn your history..we didnt enter WWII until AFTER Japan attacked us…but we get your point.

  • The Truth

    “As families and businesses are facing these high gas prices, I’ll be working with President Obama to urge him to release the strategic petroleum reserves so we can start stabilizing and bring these gas prices down,” Obama said.

    OH NO!!!!!!!!! There’s two of them!!!?? I hope this is just another example of CBS’s great proof-reading dept., as one obama has done enough damage already!!!!

    • Darth Lib

      LOL…. OMG that was funny dude!!!!!

    • truthabounds

      The only reason to release reserves is to keep up the lie that any of it has to do with supply in the first place. Ever wonder why it goes up 14 cents in a week and takes 3 months to come back down? Here’s a hint only because it can.

    • Jamc5280

      Dont forget the speech where Obama got up to speak and then started by thanking president Obama for giving such a fine speech :P

  • BoboLobo

    LOL, they are using “alternate fuels”… wow people really REALLY need to read.

  • GMWilliams

    Once again and on most occasions Senator Dirk Durbin (D-IL) is misguided and wrong. To open the Strategin Petroleum Reserve in an effort to bring down “long term” gas prices is a mistake. We only have a 38 day supply of oil (not gasoline) in the SPRO. Our country is not suffering from a shortage of oil but of gasoline. The answer is not to draw down SPRO but to build more refineries to refine the over obundance of oil. There have been more refineries which have been shutdown than have opened in this country. This slows the process of bringing gas to the market place and artificially driving up the cost per gallon of gasoline. On source of blame for this is the EPA and their strenious demands on updating or building new refineries in this country. Oh, let’s not forget that the greatest profiteer on a gallon of gas is the Federal and State governments So if we really want to bring down the price of a gallon of gas in this country, opening SPRO is not the answer but getting the EPA out of the way so we can build more refineries.

    • marcy Harris

      GM Williams is RIGHT! There were three fully fitted refineries sitting in Houston which were eventually sent to other parts of the world because of regulatory problems here. Stop the bottleneck. Build (or buy already built) refineries NOW! Let’s get our country off of foreign oil by drilling here and refining here–
      Top jobs created by the thousands and our economy on an uphill trajectory in one step (actually two).

    • marcy Harris

      Only to get gas prices down to kick off Obama’s 2012 Presidential campaign. Stop the madness. Reserves are for reserve use.

      I’m tired of hearing we shouldn’t drill in ANWAR, off shore, Bakken and Utah/Colorado’s great basin because it won’t come online for 10 years (libs are so into instant gratification). When the left first said that 10 years ago——–
      It’s obvious we would have the oil now.

      Shale deposits along our great lakes could be online in 6 months.

      • Dave2

        Agree 1oo%. But we are talking about the big 0 and his adinistration.the most hostile in history toward domestic energy production.

    • TruthMeister

      Yeah, I second that. The SPR is meant for supply emergencies, not price inconveniences. Gas could go up to $10 per gallon and we still shouldn’t use those reserves. When a nuke or meteor blows up the middle east, that’s when you use the reserves. Otherwise, you’re just using it for political reasons to ease the pain of your constituents.

    • Wildhorses

      We’re actually in a gasoline glut at present.

  • vinko

    So what there saying Obama caused the disaster because it was the only way he could drop gas in Chicago,

  • Linda Lang

    Wow, that means we can finally take the vacation we’ve waited 6 years to go on:o( Really??? This is a non-news item if I ever saw one.

  • maryjokopechne

    what a stumpf. The US was attacked by Japan on Dec 7, 1940 THEN entered WWII. You are an idiot. YOU first need to LEARN history, not relearn it.

    • Vinnie

      1940, eh? Yeah, that’s the ticket. 1940. . . . Sheesh.

      Wish I could remember the word for a person who corrects someone else, but makes a mistake in doing so. Well, I do suppose “idiot” would work, wouldn’t it? I was just hoping to avoid an ad hominem attack.

      • Jacques Toupe

        vinnie, give mary jo a break. she was only 1 year old when the germans bombed pearl harbor. besides that, who was she trying to rip? and what’s a ‘stumpf’?


      You want to talk about getting your History right, then YOU need the lesson because it was Dec 7, 1941 NOT 1940, idiot!

  • Jim in Florida

    The long term effect of the disaster in Japan will be an increased dependence on fossil fuel. The nuclear power plant problems aren’t yet resolved and already the anti nuke power crowd is clamoring to shut down reactors and don’t build anymore.

    OK, where that power coming from to replace nuclear generated power?

    For our long term security (OUR=USA) , we need to do 2 things:

    1. Drill our vast supply.
    2. Build more refineries.

    The Federal Government is currently part of the problem. They need to become part of the solution.

    We take steps to free ourselves from dependence upon the import of world oil, we review our nuclear power stations and ensure we are taking the necessary steps to improve security where needed. The government needs to act with a clear head on this one, not swaying about on the whims of the activist anti nuke crowd.

    • Dave2

      Amen Bro, all of the above and Nukes too. The Navy has been using them since.. what?..1950? There are alot of people scared to death of nukes though. True.

    • The Truth

      “The Federal Government is currently part of the problem. They need to become part of the solution. ”

      As long as obama’s in office the above quote will never happen! Great points though!

  • Carlissa

    I know for me and my family, the more gas goes up, the less we spend on gas and the less we travel. We have started carpooling to save on money. I can remember when we had devestations years ago and gas did not go up then. Tells you something about our government and those higher up. Money Money Money

  • JKN

    DRILL HERE, DRILL NOW. This will lower oil prices and put people back to work.

  • JB

    Hurricane season is in the fall, but yes it is alway a cycle of weather related events.

    • B. K.

      June is not fall

    • flatulance


      nor is June hurricane season

    • somedude

      Actually June is the beginning of Hurricane the USA (Atlantic)
      It runs from June 1 thru November 30

  • PTF

    Sorry Senator Durbin but the increase in price is not due to a shortage in the supply. It’s due to a shortage of refining capacity as well as an unchecked and unregulated speculators market. Add the taxes and regulatory costs and you have $4 a gallon.
    Instead of thinking strategically about political posturing Sen. Durbin, how about thinking long-term and strategically about a comprehensive energy policy? I remember waiting in line to get gas in the mid-seventies. In 30+ years, you and your predecessors (democrats and republicans) have all failed to address the issue.

    • tonyL

      PTF: Yes, certainly you are right about increasing the refining capabilities and allowing more refineries to be built. But the recent increase in prices of fuel is not due supply or demand of refined products. There is a whole lot of refined products available in the market. The market speculators on wall street along with the help of oil companies are manipulating the prices for outrageous profits. The oil companies have been given permission to start new refineries but they do not wish to invest in them as they are able to create more shortages by limited production for more profits. This is a fix by oil companies. They are asking tax payers to pay them to build the refineries. While they keep the profits. You need to educate about how the oil companies are taking tax payers money for their profits.

  • booshcat

    The Obama Earthquake Machine is running full tilt, distracting the world from his failed presidency.

  • Justin Case

    @jason: Ass…

  • Florida Barb

    Didn’t read all the comments, just the first few. In response, “Hurricane season in the Atlantic begins June 1st and ends November 30th. The Eastern Pacific hurricane season begins May 15th and also ends November 30th.” – Natl. Weather Service. In case you care …

  • Lonestar49

    Where are you people from? Hurricane season is June 1 through November 30, with the occasional early or late hurricane.

  • txchick

    hurrican season starts on JUNE 1st and ENDS on NOVEMBER 30th. Maybe you should google things before you ASSUME you know.

  • nammers

    @JB You obviously are NOT from a state that experieces Hurricanes. I live in Texas and have been through a few of them. The season starts June 1 through November.

    • mjm

      anyone along the gulf coast knows. remind them of Karina, Camille, etc….

    • CmdrSkylord

      Yes, but most hurricanes happen late in the season, like August or Septemeber. I think that’s what JB really means, so give him a break!

  • Ed

    Oil use has ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with this disaster! Where did you come up with this idiotic idea? Japan has suffered Earthquakes for centuries, long before oil was ever discovered. Jason, you need help.

    • Ralph Smerdlap

      >Oil use has ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with this disaster!

      You’re wrong.

      Draining oil from the center of the Earth results in voids inside the Earth. As the soil and rocks in the Earth settle into these voids, the result is, naturally, earthquakes.

      Also, the thermal energy imparted by anthropogenic global warming is causing the molecules in the tectonic plates to become more agitated, decreasing the friction at fault boundaries and increasing the chance of slipping.

      But don’t despair. There is a way to save the Earth from the consequences of repugnant human greed. I’d be glad to help you but I need a grant of at least $20 million stolen from taxpayers for, um, scientific research.

      • GavInTucson

        Thank God for your last paragraph. I was totally missing the sarcasm.

      • Dave2

        I know, I know, East Anglica research center has fallen on hard times of late.

      • AndThen...

        Yes but you forgot to mention how the declining polar bear population north of the 55th parallel is shifting the planet’s center of mass just enough to dramatically alter the effects of our moon’s tidal forces which in turn exacerbates tectonic dynamics producing larger and more frequent earthquakes.

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