Gas prices up 30 cents from last year, could hit $4 soon -

Gas prices up 30 cents from last year, could hit $4 soon

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By KMOV Web Producer By KMOV Web Producer

ST. LOUIS ( -- A barrel of crude oil closed at more than $94 Wednesday, the highest for a barrel of crude since mid-May.

The average price last year for gallon of unleaded was $3.51. The average so far for this year $3.61, and the average around St. Louis is $3.65.

Across the river, the Illinois average is more than $4.

“We’re up about thirty cents a gallon from where we were last year,” said Mike Right, of AAA. Right also suspects the cause of the rise is problems in the process.

“The most recent reason is the disruption in some of the refining operations here in the Midwest.”

But don’t look for the big oil companies to give you any explanation why some refineries and a pipeline in the Midwest aren’t producing what they normally produce. They don’t have to make any of that information public.

A month ago prices were dropping and some pundits said we’d be less than $3 per gallon by autumn.

Now some are saying we’ll be up to nearly $4 per gallon soon before dropping next month.

Economists say if the prices keep climbing, it could slow down the rebound in consumer spending.

But some in the travel industry say it won’t be in their arena.

News 4 was surprised when we talked to Lynne Meyer who’s been in the business for 40 years.

She says the higher crude prices don’t affect some travel. Americans are still taking trips, they just bite the bullet and absorb the extra cost.

“I go to Mexico every winter,” Meyer said. “I’m not going to cancel my plans to go to Mexico because my ticket might be $50 more. That’s silly. Even a hundred dollars more, I’ll still go.”

As for the future of gas prices, Right cautions against listening to pundits who say they know what prices will look like in the future.

“One of the problems with predicting gasoline prices in the future is it’s impossible,” he said.

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