Chicago Owns Highest Gas Prices in the Nation

30 cents above the national average

By Susan Rivera
|  Tuesday, May 11, 2010  |  Updated 9:19 AM CDT
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Chicago's Reality Connection

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An Egyptian worker refuels a vehicle at a gas station in the city of Cairo, Egypt Tuesday, May 6, 2008. Egypt's parliament endorsed Monday a government bill to raise taxes and fuel prices less than a week after President Hosni Mubarak announced a 30 percent salary increase for all government employees. (AP Photo/Nasser Nasser)

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Chicago may be the Second City, but it's second to none in gas prices.

The national Lundberg Survey of fuel prices bestowed Chicago with that dubious honor this week.   According to its survey of 2,500 filling stations nationwide, gasoline rose 7-cents over the past two weeks making the national average $2.92, the highest since October 2008.  But in Chicago, the average price is $3.22  or 30 cents above the national average, reports WBEZ

There are a few reasons why Chicagoans pay more at the pump, and better air quality could be one of them.  Patrick DeHaan, senior petroleum analysts for GasBuddy.com says gas is more expensive in the City in part because of laws aimed at improving air quality.

“I think one of the biggest stories behind the high prices in Chicago not only are the higher taxes and the cleaner burning gasoline, but there's been a change in volatility specifications for the entire state of Illinois that has some producers of gasoline very concerned simply because the mandates... the laws are so stringent,” DeHaan told WBEZ.

Others like Beth Mosher, spokesman for AAA  blame high state and local taxes for driving gas prices in Chicago up. 

Whatever the reason, there is some good news . 

Trilby Lundberg, the independent gasoline analyst who puts out the survey, told Bloomberg News gasoline “is about to take a dive." 

It’s impossible to know just how much it will drop, but it will be soon,” she said.

If you can't handle this city's gas prices,  there’s always Denver.  That city had the lowest prices in the country at $2.71 a gallon.

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