Chicago-Area Residents Cope With Pain at the Pump as Gas Prices Soar

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Americans are feeling the pain at the pump in recent weeks, and residents have been shocked not just by how high gas prices have soared, but how quickly they have done so.

At gas stations across America, prices are going through the roof, hitting record levels and forcing residents to make some tough decisions about how much they’ll be driving.

“I am noticing the change, like in my bank account, and I’m not saving as much money as I normally would,” Chicago resident Raul Gonzalez said. “I used to fill this up for maybe $60, and now it’s going up to $80 to fill it up.”

Gonzalez says that he drives to work every day, but that will change if prices keep climbing.

“At five dollars a gallon, I would start taking the bus, simply because that’s basically a trip here and back,” he said.

In Illinois, gas prices are already at an average of $4.43 per gallon, according to AAA. In Indiana, things are slightly better, but prices were still at more than $4 a gallon in Lake County.

With President Joe Biden announcing that oil imports from Russia would be banned, there are no signs that prices will drop any time soon, but many residents say that the temporary increase would be worth it if it hurts Russia’s war on Ukraine.

“I would be willing to take on a little more of a burden to help with that,” one driver said. “They’re being oppressed. Being able to help a group that’s oppressed, I feel like it’s certainly worth spending a couple extra cents or dollars.”

Even still, there are ways you can get the most bang for your buck when it comes to fuel efficiency. Experts offered a variety of tips to NBC 5, including slowing down, taking extra weight out of your vehicles, and to get oil changes regularly.

There could be some good news on the horizon, as experts say that the increase in prices will likely begin to slow after the initial shock to oil markets, but those rates will still continue to rise, according to most.

“Russia could decide to do something that could change the calculus, but for now we will continue to see the prices inch up in most states,” GasBuddy’s Patrick De Haan said.

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