Gas prices up 20% in 2011, 41 cents from high

Posted April 6 at 7:28 a.m.

U.S. gas prices have risen for 15 days straight days and are now within 41 cents of the all-time high of $4.114 a gallon, reached in July 2008.

The average price of unleaded jumped 2.2 cents overnight to $3.707 a gallon, according to motorist group AAA. In the past three weeks alone, prices have jumped 4 percent. Year to date, gas prices are up a whopping 20 percent. And it’s not even summer driving season yet, when prices tend to peak for the year.

At this time last year, the nationwide average price for a gallon of unleaded was $2.83. That means that gas prices have gone up 87 cents, or 30 percent, during the last 12 months.

The increase is largely being fueled by higher oil prices, which have risen as oil producing nations in North Africa and the Middle East wrestle with chaos. The mayhem has sparked a 24 percent spike in oil prices during the last 12 months, though prices were relatively flat on Wednesday, slipping 13 cents to $108.15 per barrel.

While gas prices still have a bit of room to go before reaching the July 2008 record, the fact that they’re this high before the summer driving season has even gotten underway could spell trouble ahead.

Unless you live in Hawaii. The average price of a gallon of unleaded in the Aloha State was $4.322 on Wednesday, the nation’s highest. The lowest statewide average was in Wyoming, at $3.446 per gallon.

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  1. spellin' April 6 at 8:17 a.m.

    Thank you, Captain Obvious.

  2. RMLimo69 April 6 at 8:27 a.m.

    Record food prices, record oil prices, housing market has not recovered, near record unemployment and stagnant wages. No wonder consumer confidence has dropped like a rock. Yet Dow Jones has recovered everything it lost. Citizens, be careful. Stocks are pricey and due for a correction. We are also not out of the danger zone for the dreaded double dip recession.

  3. tony April 6 at 8:34 a.m.

    In 2008 when gas prices went high the we changed our driving and spending habits, I’ve already started biking and using the train to commute, also I’m not spending on anything but things I need, these gas prices will put us back fully into the recession, that the experts say we are climbing just coming out of, Obama needs to address this and I don’t mean by talking about alternative sources of energy, yes we need to develop alternative green fuels, problem is we are nowhere near any that will help NOW ! Obama gives Brazil billions for their off shore oil production while our own drilling sit virtually still, WHY ? The American people need help with the rising costs of just not fuel but all consumer products. Hope and Change ? I’m hoping for Change in 2012 from Obama !

  4. Ian April 6 at 9:50 a.m.

    Shell gas station on the corner of Irving Pk and Pulaski has REGULAR at $4.35 a gallon.

  5. Matt April 6 at 10:15 a.m.

    I relocated to Denver last summer. There are many things I miss about living in the city of Chicago, but this is not one of them. Paid $3.45 for regular on Sunday. Also, I have several E85 stations near me, at $2.65-$2.85 per gallon. For as green as Chicago is, I’m suprised that there aren’t more alternative fuel stations in the city.