(The Center Square) – As families deal with rising prices on groceries and other household items, prices at the pump are once again flirting with record highs.
According to GasBuddy, gas prices in Illinois have increased nearly 20 cents a gallon in the past week. The average price in Illinois is $4.60 a gallon, but many stations in the Chicago area are well over $5 a gallon.
In the latest report, the cheapest gas was priced at just under $4 a gallon, while the most expensive was $5.78 a gallon.
Molly Hart with AAA Illinois said you can blame the summer driving season with more motorists on the roads.
“We also make that change from the winter blend to the summer blend and the summer blend is more expensive to make, so that is also adding into the cost, but really it is supply-and-demand that is making gas prices go up,” Hart said.
Crude oil prices jumped $10 per barrel last week. The Biden administration unleashed a record amount of oil from the country’s emergency stockpiles, but industry analysts warned at the time the impact at the pump was fleeting and relatively minor.
The national average for regular gasoline rose to $4.32 a gallon Monday, according to AAA. That is a fraction of a penny shy of the all-time high of $4.33 set on March 11.
Diesel fuel prices are spiking as well. Diesel powers the trucks that haul goods around the country and high transportation costs usually get passed down to consumers.
Adding insult to injury is the fact that Illinois has among the highest gas taxes in the country. The average savings from delaying the annual increase in the state budget that begins July 1 could be two to three cents a gallon for six months before it’s set to increase on Jan. 1.
Hart doesn’t expect Illinoisans to cancel vacations because of rising gas prices.
“What they might do is just make modifications to it and that could be a couple different things like stay at a less expensive hotel or not dine out,” Hart said.
There may be a bit of good news. The oil market, which is a barometer for gasoline and diesel prices, fell sharply on Monday by over 6%, the steepest one-day decline since late March.