Re-elect Dan Lipinski Congressman

5 Things That Will Make Gas Prices Continue to Go Up

Fox Chicago
March 7, 2011
By Larry Yellen

Chicago - If you filled up your car, you've already seen the prices.

On Monday, the average cost of a gallon of gas was now $3.75 in Chicago, up 12 cents from just a week ago. That's 40 cents higher than a month ago and 89 cents higher than a year ago.

The high cost of gasoline is also putting the squeeze on cab drivers.

Currently a fuel surcharge of $.50 goes into effect when gas is over $ 2.70 per gallon, and it goes up to $1 at $3.20 per gallon.

Now that gas is around $4 per gallon, cab drivers say it is harder to make a living, and so many are working longer hours.

One of the options under consideration by the White House is tapping into the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to push prices down, but there's disagreement on whether the 727 million barrels in the reserve should be used to control prices.

"I don't think we should open up the Strategic Petroleum Reserve," said Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Illinois). "That's for a national emergency. What we should do instead is resume drilling in the United States, especially offshore drilling."

"We can smartly use the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to help to try to stabilize prices a little bit, but we really need long term solutions," said Rep. Dan Lipinski (D-Chicago).

We asked a petroleum expert to name the five things that are most likely to impact gas prices here, and he said:

  1. Saudi Arabia.
  2. Libya.
  3. Other countries like Iran.
  4. Circuit breakers like the Strategic Petroleum Reserve.
  5. Consumers cutting back.

Morningstar investment expert Robert Johnson said the revolt in Libya has reduced the world's crude oil supply by only about two percent, but that Saudi Arabia is responsible for more than 10 percent of the world's crude oil.

"What people are really afraid of is that it's going to spread to the likes of a Saudi Arabia," he said. "Now you're talking real numbers, and that would have a dramatic effect on supply and demand. It would cause a pretty dramatic change in pricing."


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