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Gas Prices Dropping In Chicago Area

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

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

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CHICAGO (CBS) — Gas prices are down 11 cents in the last week in the Chicago area, and dropping.

As WBBM Newsradio’s Mike Krauser reports, the price drop is largely due to the seasonal phasing out of the boutique “summer blend” gasoline for Chicago, which costs refineries more to produce.

The average price for a gallon of regular on Monday stood at $3.64 for the Chicago area, down 11 cents from a week ago. That is a drop of 38 cents from a month ago, but 72 cents a gallon higher than a year ago.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Mike Krauser reports

But at this time in 2008, the average price was 42 cents a gallon higher.

Of course, one can do better or worse. Across the state line in Indiana, where taxes are lower, the price was $3.17.

But one man, Joe, said even that was too much.

“It’s outrageous — $3.17 shouldn’t be acceptable,” Joe said.

But the news may be good for the short-term future. Energy analyst Phil Flynn has predicted that gas prices may drop another 10 to 25 cents by Christmas. That could drive Chicago’s prices down to Indiana levels, and Indiana prices below $3.

“To get people back in their cars, prices will have to go lower,” said Flynn, an analyst at Chicago’s PFGBEST.

Unpredictable events such as floods, hurricanes, pipeline outages and Libya’s future after the overthrow of Libyan dictator Muammar al-Qaddafi could still affect gasoline prices, he said.

ChicagoGasPrices.com reports in the Chicago area within Illinois, the lowest reported price Tuesday morning was $3.39 – seen at numerous suburban gas stations. The highest was $4.39, at the BP station at 755 W. Lawrence Ave. near Lake Shore Drive.

The Chicago Sun-Times contributed to this report, via the Sun-Times Media Wire.

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