Michael Bieberitz of Wauwatosa, Wis., puts gas in his car Friday at a Milwaukee… (Roger Schneider / Associated…)
Refinery and petroleum pipeline problems in the Midwest states led a rise in retail gasoline prices that pushed the national average for a gallon of regular past the $3.60 mark. Prices also rose in California, but by a much smaller amount.
The national average for a gallon of regular gasoline is $3.619, up 13.3 cents over the past week, according to the AAA Fuel Gauge Report. The spike left the Midwest in the rare position of having fuel prices that are higher than California.
Illinois residents are paying an average of $4.064 a gallon. Michigan and Indiana are not far behind at averages of $3.994 and $3.919 a gallon, respectively. A gallon of regular costs $3.89 Monday in Wisconsin and $3.858 a gallon in Ohio.
In California, the average for a gallon of regular climbed 5.5 cents over the past week to an average of $3.853.
"Watching the national average last week, one might have expected war broke out in the Middle East or a major hurricane shutting down production, neither of which happened, yet gasoline prices spiked," said Patrick DeHaan, senior petroleum analyst for the price watch websites run by GasBuddy.com.
DeHaan said price relief might not come until the end of the summer driving season and the switch, later this year, to colder weather gasoline blends that are less expensive to produce than summer blend gasoline.
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