Chicago-area gas prices up 11% in last month

Posted March 7 at 12:43 p.m.

Gas prices continued to rise Monday, driven higher for nearly two weeks straight by the turmoil in Libya, with analysts expecting prices to keep climbing.

In the Chicago area, gas prices have risen 11 percent, or 37 cents, in the last month to an average of $3.716, according to a daily survey by motorist group AAA. U.S. gas prices have increased for 13 days in a row, rising nearly 34 cents in that time, the second-biggest price jump in the history of the gasoline market, according to the Lundberg Survey.

Trilby Lundberg, publisher of the Lundberg Survey, said average gas prices in Chicago increased by nearly 35 cents from Feb. 18 to March 4, when the average hit $3.75 per gallon.

By comparison, the national average rose 33 cents, to $3.51 per gallon, Lundberg said.

The highest gas prices in the nation are in California, where drivers pay an average of $3.897 a gallon. Prices were also above $3.80 in Hawaii and Alaska.

Montana had the lowest gas prices at $3.186 a gallon, on average. Wyoming was a close second with an average cost per gallon of $3.189.

Gas prices vary widely from state to state based largely on local taxes. But prices have been trending higher nationwide after an increase in the price of crude oil, the main ingredient in gasoline.

Oil prices rose above $106 a barrel Monday, hitting a fresh 2-1/2 year high, as the violence in Libya appears likely to drag on.

Peter Beutel, president of energy risk management firm Cameron Hanover, told CNNRadio that he expects gas prices to continue moving higher.

“I expect that the average is going to be something around $3.75 or $3.80 a gallon,” he said.

He said prices will probably remain below $4 a gallon in most parts of the country, barring any widespread political unrest in the Persian Gulf.

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  1. BKG March 7 at 7:40 a.m.

    Here’s an idea. Let’s pretend we don’t foolishly import about 70% of our petroleum. Let’s continue to drive big-engine SUV’s, Hummers, and minivans without strong mileage standards. Let’s continue to build car-dependent suburbs and infrastructures.

    Then, when overseas events cause oil shortages and price increases, let’s blame Obama, Bush, Clinton, or whomever is in office.

  2. Masada March 7 at 9:00 a.m.

    $3.71 avg in Chicago? I would REALLY like to know where gas was that cheap in Chicago!

  3. Bob March 7 at 9:06 a.m.

    Hey Masada – The story says “Chicago area”. I paid $3.69 this morning in Lake County so $3.71 is an “average” in the “area” not necessarly in the city. Read before you comment.

  4. TEM March 7 at 9:06 a.m.

    Time to start producing more of our own oil, the truth is ther is no shortage of oil, the price is being driven higher out of fear of what could happen, Today there is talk of using some of the reserves, last time we did that it had little impact on prices. We need to produce more of our own, and become less dependent on these unstable oil rich countries that will continue to hold us hostage with oil prices.

  5. MinisterR March 7 at 9:09 a.m.

    There is no oil shortage, yet.

    Not sure what is going to happen around the world but we need a strategic policy not a tactical.

    We have a chance to correct the failed policies since the oil embargo.

    Begin to drill and extract our own oil, announcing it may lower costs by a greate amount that tapping into the reserves.

    Start newer, safer drilling for oil of the shale oil we have.

    While this is all happening spend on R&D for alternative and cleaner options, clean coal, natural gas, “fusion”, wind, solar .. etc.

    If this is all done in parallel we will eventually, solve our energy dependence, create new engery sectors based on real and not speculative technologies.

  6. MinisterR March 7 at 9:11 a.m.


    I agree but we need to in parallel expand the research and development of all viable alternatives.
    TEM Today at 9:06 a.m.

    Time to start producing more of our own oil, the truth is ther is no shortage of oil, the price is being driven higher out of fear of what could happen, Today there is talk of using some of the reserves, last time we did that it had little impact on prices. We need to produce more of our own, and become less dependent on these unstable oil rich countries that will continue to hold us hostage with oil prices.

  7. T Morgan March 7 at 9:16 a.m.

    Illinois will now get a windfall of money from gas taxes and sales tax. $350-500 million a month. Do you think the politicians will help us? Do you think the media will jump in and help our plight? I doubt it.

  8. soxfan March 7 at 9:16 a.m.

    This darn Bush and Cheney. It must be their fault. When I bought my current vehicle in 2003 it cost $24.00 to fill it up. The other day I had to put $57.00 worth of HOPE AND CHANGE in the tank.

  9. MinisterR March 7 at 9:37 a.m.


    You are correct. They will not say a word about that? I have seen very few politicians with courage to do what is right, instead they do and say whatever has to be said to get elected or re-elected, PERIOD.

    Of course we don’t need gas tax holiday, what we do need is for the gas tax to be an actual number instead of a percentage. If they want let’s just say 50 million from gas tax then that should be based on a specific number per gallon, not a variable one.

  10. Jackie Stefani March 7 at 9:37 a.m.

    I am so very tired of hearing what the average price of gasoline is in Chicago. Do these “experts” have blinders on? I don’t care what the “average” is when the real price is up to $3.75 in the Chicago area and that was last week!

    Let’s get real and tell it like it is. Maybe “they” should drive around the city; maybe “they” can give us an accurate cost per gallon based on what they SEE, not what “they” THINK. Just as importantly, tell this to the radio people who keep telling us what the cost is – without the taxes. Give me the whole poop.

  11. bronellione March 7 at 9:44 a.m.

    Two oceans of oil, one under Gull Island Alaska, and the other, under Montana into the Dakotas. Neither being tapped because the oil companies dont want to build refineries or lower their prices. After the Arabs have been pumped dry, they can sell to them and charge whatever they want.

  12. AdamWickPrk March 7 at 10:18 a.m.

    We have plenty of reserves. However, the left wing eco-mafia has continually blocked us from drilling and/or accessing them. Like it or not, we will be dependent on oil for the foreseeable future. You can’t switch to other cleaner energies overnight in a cost efficient manner. Enjoy!!

  13. Babs March 7 at 10:43 a.m.

    These complaints about high gas prices are the same ones that were heard since 1973. I, for one, am tired of hearing people whine about it while they are filling up their Escalades, Yukons, and Expeditions, then running off to the expressway where they drive 80 mph.

    There is not a shortage of gasoline, there is an increase in price. So, adjust your budget accordingly. Americans spend an awful lot of money on stuff they don’t need but on stuff they want. If beer prices went up, you think people would drink less? When sports events tickets go up, is attendance down? When new electronics devices are marketed, how many people are out there waiting in line to get them? We pay so much less for gas than many in the world. It’s time to adjust priorities. The price is the result of capitalism, and the taxes at least are paid by the users. So, I don’t care. Let the price go up to $5 a gallon.

  14. position March 7 at 10:46 a.m.

    I have to believe President Obama’s intent to push high speed rail was to get Americans off fuel-inefficient modes of transportation and dependency on imported oil. Several decades ago when there were gas lines, the Amtrak reservation phone lines were swamped with requests.

    If gasoline prices continue to rise and/or we return to gas lines, the demand for passenger trains will continue to increase. Many trains are running pretty full now. President Obama wants to get Americans ready for more passenger train usage if and when that should happen. And it will happen at some point.

    If we don’t plan for that, Americans will complain we don’t have alternate modes of transportation in the event of a crisis.

  15. Republican March 7 at 11:30 a.m.

    I dont know why we havent invaded Libya yet. Its our oil. We are the only nation on this earth and have RIGHTS to it. If George W Bush were President we would have done this already, and paid for it with tax cuts! Why are the current Republicans so weak?

  16. Guy Williams March 7 at 11:47 a.m.

    The high price of gas must be due to Obama-Biden are in bed with big oil! Oh I’m sorry, that line is only valid when republicans are in the white house (wink,wink). Just think, if the dems hadn’t been blocking oil development in this country since the Clinton administration maybe we wouldn’t be paying these high prices. What is next? Windmill cars?

  17. victor March 7 at 12:22 pm

    We don’t need to invade Libya. We don’t need to be dependent on lunatic governments in the middle east (only the one here in the US). We do need to stop being held hostage by our enviro-whackos and the now overgrown EPA, and start producing our own oil.

  18. pete March 7 at 12:39 pm

    I’m so glad that Illinois helped to elect a great community organizer as our leadership. Perhaps he can organize the community of the middle east. Thank God we didn’t put a war veteran at the helm with the world as peaceful as it is.

    Here’s a clue to you Chicagoans,vote with your feet.Only please don’t come to Texas!

  19. Me March 7 at 1:04 pm


  20. Brian March 7 at 6:47 pm

    Hey Babs…Your talking apples and oranges. A sport event I can do without. Gas is need on a daily basis. I drive 100 miles a day just for work. I don’t drive a big SUV. I still spend $120 a week on fuel now when I was spending $90 several weeks ago.

  21. K.L. Rogers March 7 at 8:55 pm

    Blue collar and made it to retirement(or disability annuity).
    Now I grit my teeth at the gas pump. Like the weather, GAS, everyone talks about. No one does anything about it. Not a rocket guy byfar, but I will take a stab at it..hear goes..
    What would happen if everybody, across this great U.S.A. pulled together and sucked it in and bought their gas at the same service stations for say 7 or 10 days at a time. Another words, For one week, millions of folks bought gas from SHELL and AMOCO only, Drove right pass the rest of what ever is left, then switch up to maybe BP or Conoco for the next week or 10 days and so on. I relize that small towns may only have 1 gas station, but wouldn’t this make the gas prices drop? You get the Idea.. Boycott each one a week at a time. One week or 10 days and any gas seller would be on his knees begging folks to buy his gas.. They couldn’t take that kind of hit to sales. Could they? You take major cities where they have 25 different gas stations, some gas stations could sit a long time before their turn came around. Would that not effect gas stocks? That’s what makes us gas buyers abide by at the pump. WE been told and know that there is enough gas and oil to last 500 yrs on U.S.A. soil. But yet OPEC and other countries dictate how we, U.S.A. folks will suffer at the gas pump and finally down to our families and wallets. Is there anyone smart enough to get back at these gas guys and put some kind of plan together????! Maybe this Idea is all wrong, but I bet some one knows what would work.. Lets stop talking about it and rally USA! Voice your Idea! it might be the one that works!

  22. David Starr March 7 at 10:41 pm

    There is an outfit called EatFree. They work with Walmart to get
    a substantial discount on gas. I joined it last December and love
    it. The process to get started was real easy. All I did was call a
    number (352-234-3523) with a recorded message for easy to
    follow directions.

    It took a little bit of time and effort, but now I enjoy Walmart gas.
    There is an upper limit that you can get on your Walmart card,
    I think it is $200 or something like that — but believe me an extra
    couple of hundred bucks a month gives my family our weekly
    trip to the movies again… or you can always buy more gas.. LOL.

  23. Bob March 8 at 7:44 a.m.

    Ride a bike, burn fat – not gasoline.

    Reduce traffic, make the roads safer and quieter.

    Less traffic, safer for seniors, children, and pedestrians.

    There is a lot to be gained by the high price of gas – let’s hope it goes even higher to make things even better.