As Hurricane Isaac cuts off supply, Chicago gas prices climb higher

Drivers feel pinch at the priciest pump in town

August 29, 2012

Lauren Chooljian & Anthony Martinez

(Anthony Martinez)
Drivers pay big time filling-up at the pump.

Gas prices in Chicago are the highest in the country - and they could keep climbing.

According to AAA's Daily Fuel Gauge Report, a gallon of regular gas costs on average $4.44. That’s around 75 cents higher than the national average.

Beth Mosher, a spokeswoman for AAA, says prices in Chicago were already high because of local refinery and pipeline issues, but Hurricane Isaac is making things worse.

"Right now we have about a billion barrels of production that is already shut down and depending on the course that this hurricane takes and any ramifications we could see prices pushed higher," she said.

Mosher said prices vary across the city, but they’re usually highest on the north side or by the interstate.

WBEZ actually tracked down the station offering the most expensive fuel in the state — in Chicago's Near West Side a Marathon station on the corner of Ogden and Carroll was selling regular unleaded for $4.79 per gallon.

Drivers expressed frustration about filling up at the priciest pump in the state on Wednesday.

"Not too good. You could have told me that before I filled-up," said one driver.

"I've been traveling to the east coast a lot and I was shocked to see that their gas was like, a dollar cheaper than ours, because everything is usually more expensive on the east coast," said another.

When asked what brought her into this particular station, the previous driver responded:

"It was sheer convenience and there was an urgent need. I literally only put like $5.00 until I can get to a cheaper station.”

Another driver shared a similar sentiment.

“I try not to fill-up in Chicago as much as possible. Either out in Indiana, Michigan, or down in the suburbs it’s at least thirty cents cheaper.”

Lastly, when asked what they could do to save money at the pump, most drivers seemed resigned to their situation.  

But another threw up her hands, replying: “I need to get on the bus."