Gas Prices Approach 6-Year High

Turmoil in Iraq sends gas and oil prices soaring

The growing violence in Iraq could keep pushing up gasoline prices here at home.

At a time when prices at the pump typically fall, they're approaching a six-year high. NBC News reports gasoline prices in the U.S. have hit their highest for this time of the year since 2008.

Prices rose in the past week and are now hovering at $114 a barrel.

Iraq is the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries' second-largest exporter, and some worry that oil production might be impacted as violence there continues.

"It's bothering me because you have to put so much gas in your car just to get to work," commuter Andrew Millwood said.

AAA spokeswoman Beth Mosher said the group is monitoring the turmoil in Iraq. Though it's not clear how high Chicago gas prices will go, she said average rates are currently $4.38 a gallon in Chicago, $4.10 in the metropolitan area and $3.93 in the state of Illinois.

That's compared to the national average of $3.68 a gallon.

"It is going to cost us," said Kevin Costello, a manager at Home Run Inn Pizza. "It's one pressure that the food industry has been dealing with for months."

Costello said increasing gas prices will hurt his company's bottom line.

"There's an upward pressure on everything," he said. "All food and everything we do is distributed by truck in this country, so it puts pressure everywhere on this system."

Costello said he thinks a better option would be for the United States to tap into energy sources at home and not abroad. "Do everything they can to try and supply the energy needs of the country."

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