U.S. Gasoline Prices Rise; the Highest Is in Chicago

Gasoline prices have reached a new all-time high for the United States, as the average retail price for a gallon of regular gas is $3.23 a gallon, according to AAA.

Adjusted for inflation, gas was slightly more expensive back in 1981. But if today's average goes up few more cents, it will break that record.

Local prices varied widely, with a gallon going for less than $3 at some stations in New Jersey. But it has been many weeks since Californians have seen prices that low.

That is due, in large part, to the state's high gas tax. Traditionally, San Francisco has been the city with the highest gas prices in the continental United States.

But last week, Chicago edged into the No. 1 spot. A gallon of unleaded costs an average of $3.59 in the city — and the price is nearly $4 at some stations.

For the distinction, Chicagoans can blame high taxes of almost 80 cents a gallon, along with a special fuel recipe required to protect air quality.

The price spike has city officials talking about converting its vehicle fleet to hybrids. And some motorists are driving to nearby Indiana, where gas tends to be 20 to 30 cents cheaper.

Gabriel Spitzer reports for Chicago Public Radio.



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