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With Warm-Up Comes A Rise In Gas Prices

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(credit: CBS) John Lauritsen
John Lauritsen is a reporter from Montevideo, Minn. He joined WCCO-...
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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Temperatures aren’t the only thing on the rise.  Gas prices have gone up 12 cents in the past week to about $3.34 a gallon. Some stations are even nearing the $3.50 mark.

Nationally, officials said gas prices are the highest they’ve been since October 2013 and they will likely continue to climb.

“They need to stay down. They’re too high. $3.45, that’s outrageous,” said Robert Williams of Minneapolis.

If there’s anything that frustrates Minnesotans more than up and down weather it’s up and down gas prices.

“Now that it’s going back up you are going to recognize people complaining a lot more and things like that,” said Ana Anderson of Roseville.

“We’ve got two things going on right now. One is crude oil have risen to $100 a barrel and two, some of the refineries have begun the switch-over process from the winter to the summer grade fuel,” said Gail Weinholzer, spokesperson for AAA.

Despite the recent spike, Weinholzer said we’re still about 40 cents below last year’s average at this time. That’s when prices were $3.75 a gallon.

“Last year we had a lot of geo-political issues going on in the Middle East that were being dealt with so that it caused prices to spike,” said Weinholzer.

And while Weinholzer doesn’t expect the brakes to be put on the rising gas prices anytime soon, she doesn’t think we’ll get anywhere near the record $4.28 gas we saw right before Memorial Day last year.

“The overall message is we expect the average price in 2014 to be less than the average price in 2013. We will not see $4.00 gas anytime soon,” said Weinholzer.

Weinholzer said the switch from winter blend fuel to summer blend fuel should cause about a quarter rise in gas prices. But a lot of that still depends on the political climate in the Middle East.

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