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Gulp! Gas Prices Could Hit $6 A Gallon, One Expert Says

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Gasoline pump. (Credit: Miguel Gutierrez/Getty Images)

Gasoline pump. (Credit: Miguel Gutierrez/Getty Images)

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CHICAGO (CBS) — Talk about pain at the pump. One analyst says we could soon be paying $6 for a gallon of gasoline, under certain circumstances.

CBS 2’s Derrick Blakley explains.

Three big factors — the weaker dollar, strong demand and tight supplies – drove recent hikes in gas prices. That’s even before the summer driving season, when prices usually jump.

Commodities analyst Richard Hastings says don’t look for any relief soon.

“This year, you get more than $4 a gallon … all the way through until September,” he says.

That may be the optimistic view. If supply disruptions occur, look out.

“That could easily send prices at the pump slightly above $6 a gallon, and then they would start to come back down after that,” Hastings says. “But we could see an amazing spike.”

Motorists are still trying to cope with current prices. The average price of a gallon of regular unleaded in Chicago is $4.23. Premium is already edging to $5 a gallon at some stations.

Gloria Hardemon is faced with fill-ups that cost $75.

“I’m trying to drive less,” she says. “Sometimes it’s unavoidable but I’m trying to because the price at the pump is just too painful. It cuts into everything else that you’re doing.”

Driver Jim Allen is thinking about ditching vacation plans to drive out west.

As for Joe Jones, he says, “It’s kind of funny. I was thinking of getting a moped, which I think would be a good alternative.”

The last time gas prices went above four bucks, back in 2008, it took the whole credit collapse to bring them back down. Hastings thinks prices may start back down if the Fed hikes interest rates in the fall. But that could make for a long, hot and expensive summer behind the wheel.

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