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Great Lakes – Not Great Gas Prices

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Pumping fuel into car

Sub-$2 gas prices were nice while they lasted, but odds are that if you live in a state near the Great Lakes, the cost of fuel has been increasing at an alarming rate.

According to AAA, the price of gas in the Midwest has been climbing as oil refineries struggle to keep up with demand. In just the first week of June, the average price for gas rose by 11 cents a gallon in Illinois, 12 cents a gallon in Ohio, 15 cents a gallon in Indiana, and 18 cents a gallon in Michigan.

Similarly, average per-gallon prices at the start of the month had increased by 27 cents in Illinois, 38 cents in Indiana and Ohio, and 46 cents in Michigan compared to May. In fact, Illinois now boasts the highest gas prices of any state east of Idaho. Meanwhile, the average increase across the nation was only 15 cents and, in some places like Florida, merely in the single digits.

The price of gas in the Great Lakes states is still not as high as in the most western states of the country, particularly Hawaii, Alaska, and California, but the trend should be worrying for motorists who would rather not see gas prices return to what they used to be in 2013 and 2014—around $3.65 for the nation.

At those prices, driving 270 miles per week (around the average for American drivers) with a car that makes a 30 mpg combined would cost almost $33 per week and just over $142 a month. That can be the difference between buying a car stock and upgrading to a much nicer trim—not exactly the kind of figure you’d want to factor into your monthly car payment.

Fortunately, it’s not something that can’t be helped. By reducing your dependence on oil—by seeking alternative means of transportation or by driving a fuel-efficient car—you can not only save on gas but also reduce the demand for it, thus helping to keep the prices down.

Source: AAA