Gas Prices Spike at the Pump; Analyst Explains Why

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KENT COUNTY, Mich — Prices at the pump are causing sticker shock for motorists.

“I know it’s plenty of apps on my phone that could find cheaper gas,” Jerell Miller said.

Miller pulled into a Sunoco gas station on Grand Rapids’ Northeast side. He didn’t realize the price for regular unleaded was $4.15/gallon until after he parked.

In parts of West Michigan, prices for regular unleaded have climbed about thirty cents since the Memorial Day weekend. Travel spiked dramatically during that time.

“I was just thinking I won’t be doing any running around or going out of town,” Mary Milanowski said.

She asked, “Why is [gas] that costly? Does anybody know?” analyst Patrick DeHaan has an idea. FOX 17 spoke with him over the phone. He’s also written a blog with an explanation.

He said gasoline supply is already tight.

To make matters worse, an unexpected glitch occurred at an oil refinery in the Great Lakes region. That slowed production.

That Great Lakes refinery was caught buying gasoline from another refinery to try to fulfill its “contractual obligations”. According to DeHaan, word of that transaction spread and spooked the market.

As a result, DeHaan says wholesale prices have risen. That’s making cheaper transportation alternatives more enticing to some drivers.

“I might get a bike or a moped,” Miller said.

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  • Truther

    in the 70's jimmy carter invented "the energy crisis" ….despite the doom and gloom warnings nothing happened…
    then Al Gore invented "global warming" and a future president promised to "necessarily cause energy prices to skyrocket"
    Election day 2008…fuel $1.87

    • Dwest

      Invented global warming? 1.87 a gallon was because the economy just tanked thanks to W. It was 4..50 a gallon here 2 mo.s before that. How does your Right winged Brains keep coming u with this crap??

      • scott

        Dwest , you hit the nail on the head – those W head nodders and tea baggers can not understand where the whole problem started . I/WE can all thank good ole W for this mess

  • Robert

    Still amazes me that the Oil Companies think the American People are so stupid. They know that they have us by the neck and they aren't happy until they make their quarterly billion dollar profits. A "glitch" in a refinery caused them to have to buy oil from someone else? Why isn't that just a cost of doing business? If other business lose money due to machine failure, etc, they don't immediately charge more for their product. Why bother to lie about it? We all know they're going to raise prices every summer, so just do it and shut up about it! We all know they aren't telling the truth and can't be trusted.

    • Brett

      Robert, the reason gas supply is so tight is because the leftist environmentalists won't let another refinery to be built in this country. Google search it. It leads to these shortages whenever there's a problem at one of the existing refineries. And this is happening while oil prices fall. Sure would help if the Keystone Pipeline was built as well.

      So don't blame the oil companies, though they are partly to blame. Blame your left wing friends.

  • jim

    Michigan is one of the few states where gas prices spike on a weekly basis. Could that be because most people fill up when they receive their paycheck on Thursday or Friday. Gas prices spike here most often on Tuesday or Wednesday
    just in time to take advantage of the highest volume of business.