Survey: Gas prices in Neb. highest in the nation
The Associated Press OMAHA, Neb. -- Nebraska has edged Michigan to take the dubious honor of having the most expensive gas in the nation, according to a nationwide AAA gas price survey. At $3.33 on Monday, the average price for a gallon of regula...
The Associated Press
OMAHA, Neb. -- Nebraska has edged Michigan to take the dubious honor of having the most expensive gas in the nation, according to a nationwide AAA gas price survey.
At $3.33 on Monday, the average price for a gallon of regular unleaded gas in Nebraska was down a penny from Sunday. Michigan, which ranks No. 2, was at $3.32.
That puts Nebraska at 28 cents above the national average -- $3.05 -- and the pain at the pump has some people cringing.
"I don't fill it up," said Susan Heitmann of Omaha, who was pumping gas into her older pickup at a west Omaha gas station. "I just go up to a certain dollar amount."
The truck has two tanks, she said, so she's used to watching the numbers on the pump spin higher and higher.
"I don't care which one it is -- I pick the cheapest," Heitmann said.
Flooding at a southeast Kansas oil refinery earlier this month is the main culprit for the price surge, AAA Nebraska spokeswoman Rose White said. The refinery has been shut down since the flooding, and it's not clear when it will reopen.
Before the flooding the Coffeyville Resources refinery was responsible for about one-seventh of the refining capacity for the Great Plains. It produced 108,000 barrels per day of gasoline, diesel and other fuel oils.
"We are hoping that prices have topped out," White said.
But she warned that consumers probably won't drop until the Coffeyville refinery resumes production.
North Platte had the highest average price in the state at $3.44, up 4 cents from Sunday, according to AAA.
Wisconsin, Illinois and Hawaii join Nebraska and Michigan to round out the top five most expensive places to buy gas, all with prices between $3.29 and $3.32, according to AAA. The national average was down about a half-cent from Sunday.
AAA gives South Carolina the cheapest gas ranking, at $2.83, followed by New Jersey, Tennessee, Mississippi and Alabama, all between $2.83 and $2.90.
U.S. gas prices on average rose about six cents in the past three weeks, according to a national survey released Sunday.
Regular gas prices averaged $3.06 a gallon, mid-grade was $3.17 and premium was $3.29, said oil industry analyst Trilby Lundberg.
The lowest price was in Tucson, Ariz., where a gallon of regular cost $2.80. The highest was in Chicago at $3.46, according to the Lundberg Survey of thousands of stations nationwide.
Industry officials have said short supplies due to refinery problems are driving up prices in the Midwest.
"(There are) outages in South Dakota, Minnesota, Nebraska, Kansas. Everyone's struggling," said Mike Rud, president of the North Dakota Petroleum Marketer's Association.
But the high prices didn't have Sue Gordon of Omaha sweating. She owns a Lexus hybrid SUV, and said she gets between 27 and 30 miles per gallon in the city.
"It seems like I fill up my tank every third week," Gordon said as she pumped gas at an Omaha station.