High Gas Prices Have Hidden Cost Layers

CHICAGO (CBS) — Seven cents in just one week. That’s how much gas prices in Chicago have jumped on average, according to Gasbuddy.com.

Motorists are spending an average of $4.25 a gallon to fill up. But there’s more to the jump than you might think, CBS 2’s Mai Martinez reports.

Seventeen different territories are required by the EPA to have special blends of gas to meet air-pollution standards. Most of Illinois and Indiana can use just regular unleaded gas.

A sliver of downstate uses one blend; Minnesota another; California two more blends. Chicago has one, too, and that’s part of the reason we’re paying more at the pump. But that’s not all.

Everyone knows the prices are going up, but they’re not exactly sure why.

Patrick DeHaan, senior petroleum analyst at Gasbuddy.com, says the reasons are many.

“The reason why Chicago tends to be toward the higher side is that Illinois has one of the higher tax rates in the nation,” he says.

DeHaan says doing business in Chicago also just costs more, so gas stations pass that along to customers. It doesn’t help that a major refinery in Northwest Indiana is partially closed for maintenance.

“That is keeping supply tight, and that’s also pushing gasoline prices up as well,” he says.

As for that special type of gas required in Chicago, most drivers said they had no idea.

“Who came up with this plan in the first place? I mean, it sounds kind of exploitive to me,” driver Donna Rose said.

Some members of Congress, including U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk, also feel the 17 gas “monopolies,” as they call them, are unfair.

Kirk is calling for one type of clean-burning gasoline for the entire country.  Kirk feels leveling the playing field will increase competition and lower gas prices.

  • Roberta Waker

    Haven’t heard so much BS in awhile. Kirk is right and this would be a step in the right direction. BUT, even better would be to remove crude oil from the commodities trading list. Then we can get back to $3/gal or less. We also need to drill in the Dakotas and Rockies where there’s enough crude to supply our needs for 1,000+ years. Why aren’t we drilling here?

    • Mike

      WHERE in the Rockies? The only thing remotely in that area is the Green River Formation (oil shale) which we cannot get out of the ground cheaply or without significant environmental cost. We have the technology to access some (not all) of it, but its not economical – meaning if you want to tap that reserve you’d guarantee $5+ a gallon!

  • Luis

    In ten years we will know who plotted this crime & how many billions they got away with along with the many polititions that helped pave the way for this obvious crime to be commited in the first place. Record profits & something is happenening in the middle east! Yea thats it!! 100 years the automobile has managed to stay at 1 dollar and now in ten years it has been quadrupled. Did you know the world is still flat too!!

  • Bill S.

    This is really pizzing me! It has to stop!

  • Nick D.

    Obama is just letting his rich oil buddies get richer. Oh thats right that’s what they said when Bush was in office.

  • carl

    ok noone can fix the prices now not kirk or obama gas was 140+ 19 months ago and gas at pump was cheaper than it is now at 112 a barrel there all liars croooks and thiefs and if they could fix it it would have been done already wehn gas goes up 3.00 a barrel it goes up 20 cens a pop in one day but if gas goes dsown 3.00 a barrrrel it comes down .03cents in 3 days figure it out if someone can fix it send me an email or call me out on it

  • Don

    The last time gas prices where in the upper 3 dollar range, the suspended the summer blends. Do that again ,and lower the state gas tax. Thanks EPA, which by the way is not authorized by the Constitution. Time for the EPA to be eliminated.

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  • franklin808

    We need those special EPA blends to fight global warming. The top priority should be to reduce carbon emissions. I am willing and able to pay more for gasoline if it is for a good reason.

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