'This is probably not the peak': $6 gas arrives at some suburban pumps

  • The price of a gallon of regular gas topped $6 Friday at the Shell station at the intersection of Arlington Heights and Algonquin roads in Arlington Heights.

      The price of a gallon of regular gas topped $6 Friday at the Shell station at the intersection of Arlington Heights and Algonquin roads in Arlington Heights. Mark Welsh | Staff Photographer

 
 
Updated 6/10/2022 7:23 PM

Gasoline prices have now climbed above $6 a gallon at some suburban pumps.

"From this past Monday we jumped in Illinois 41 cents," AAA Illinois spokeswoman Molly Hart said. "That's one of the 10 largest weekly increases."

 

In fact, the average price for a gallon of gasoline in Illinois is now at $5.56, according to AAA, making it the third-most expensive state for gas behind California at $6.42 and Nevada's $5.62.

Nationally, the average price for a gallon of gasoline is now at $4.99.

"Prices are going to be affected by the taxes in each town and the cost of getting that gasoline to the stations," Hart explained. "And this is probably not the peak."

Russia's war on Ukraine is the main driver of the price hikes, she said. However, she noted there are other factors at play.

U.S. oil companies are still producing crude oil at levels below what was being produced prior to the pandemic. Hart said that some oil companies are closing refineries because of regulations as well.

"We do switch from a winter blend to a summer blend, and the additives in the summer blend are also becoming more expensive," she said.

Summer blends of gasoline contain less butane and are less prone to evaporation, according to a report published at AAALiving.com.

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And demand is only growing as Illinois enters the summer traveling season.

"More people are taking the roads with their summer vacations, so the demand is greater than the supply," Hart said.

But while motorists may be willing to spend more on fuel for their traveling needs, they are cutting back inside gas stations and convenience stores, said Josh Sharp, CEO of the Illinois Fuel and Retail Association, which represents more than 5,000 gas station and retail locations throughout the state.

Many of the operators have expressed concern about the decline of in-store sales.

"When prices started going up, that was the first thing to go," Sharp said. "Those sales decline, and it's especially hard for stores near neighboring states where prices are so much cheaper."

Among the five states Illinois shares a border with, only Indiana is averaging more than $5 a gallon currently, according to AAA figures. In Missouri, the average gallon of gas cost $4.58 this week.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Last year at this time, Illinois was averaging $3.36 for a gallon of gas. It has since increased more than 65%, AAA said.

The average price for a gallon of gas in Cook County is $5.97, according to the AAA report. In DuPage County, it's $5.86 a gallon.

It's $5.85 in Lake County, $5.84 in Will County and $5.80 in McHenry County. The lowest average per gallon price in the suburbs is Kane County's $5.78.

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