Attorney General Lisa Madigan has sent a letter to the Illinois Petroleum Council and its member oil companies demanding an explanation for the recent gas price spike in the state.
The price is thought to have been caused by a major outage at BP’s refinery in Whiting, Indiana earlier this month. BP though has stated that gas prices will lower when the largest of its three crude distillation units is repaired.
“Gasoline is not an optional purchase for many hard-working Illinois residents, and paying more for gas means less money to spend on other essentials like rent, groceries and medicine,” said Madigan. “Unfortunately, every time gas prices rise, the oil companies give us excuses. The oil companies need better contingency plans because drivers deserve answers and relief from these outrageous prices.”
Prices have dropped in recent weeks, but the state’s average price of $2.96 is still much higher than the national average of $2.57 for regular fuel. Local gas prices are lower than the state’s average, but even fuel costs in the area have seen a recent increase. Effingham County, as well as Fayette, Cumberland, Jasper, and Clay Counties all have average gas costs higher than the national figure at more than $2.60 per gallon for regular fuel. Prices lower than the area average can often be found though, especially through the use of sites such as gasbuddy.com.