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Pump Pain Returns To Chicago

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

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

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CHICAGO (CBS) — Just when we were all starting to feel a little relief, they’re back. High gas prices are making a return, at least in Chicago.

The national average for a gallon of regular gas is down almost 1 cent to $3.77 a gallon, but the average in Chicago is up almost 10 cents, averaging $4.35 a gallon. 

So why the jump? CBS 2’s Mai Martinez asked the experts.

Some say they knew it couldn’t last.

“Too good to be true,” Tish McCurn said as she filled up her SUV on Monday.

Like many drivers, McCurn noticed the nearly 10-cents-per-gallon price hike in Chicago over the past week, with $4.35 a gallon being the average across the city. That’s far higher than many pre-Memorial day predictions. 

So what happened? 

Phil Flynn, a markets analyst and Fox Business Network contributor, says a number of factors drove gas prices in the area up unexpectedly. 

“We saw two major refineries that supply gasoline to the Chicago area have glitches. We had a major pipeline that delivers crude oil to the Midwest go down,” he said.

Flynn says in addition to that, another pipeline was leaking. As if that wasn’t enough, there’s also the added cost of the government required “summer-blend” gas used in Chicago.

“Ultimately it’s the drivers that end up paying for it,” explained Flynn. 

And boy, do drivers know it. 

“It’s absolutely ridiculous,” Gwen Carrion said as she pumped gas. 

But Flynn says drivers shouldn’t give up hope just yet because some relief is on the horizon. 

He also said an OPEC meeting scheduled for later this week could bring drivers even more relief if oil producers recommend raising oil production.

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