Gasoline price spike adds to Winter woes

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In the midst of a brutal winter, with the spike in heating costs, now consumers have to contend with higher prices at the gas pump. When it comes to gas prices, it may not all be bad news.
According to AAA Hoosier Motor Club, the national average for a gallon of regular unleaded has increased 18 days in a row.  But it is still 35 cents less than what it was a year ago.  That's about a savings of $2 for each fill-up.

In fact, AAA reports consumers are paying the lowest on average for this time of year since 2011. The national average, says AAA, is $3.43 a gallon.  The average in Indiana trends a little higher at $3.56 a gallon.
As Greg Seiter from AAA explains, "History indicates that gas prices typically increase in February as refineries reduce production to conduct seasonal maintenance, which is performed between strong demand periods for winter heating oil and summer gasoline."

That maintenance limits gas production which can reduce supplies and cause market uncertainty.
"Hoosiers," Seiter explains, "are probably feeling the effects of maintenance performed at the BP Whiting Refinery in the northwest corner of the state."
And while the historically cold temperatures and heavy snowfall this winter has caused heating costs to increase, it's actually slowed the spike in gas prices, in large part due to limited demand.
As for what spring break travelers can expect, Seiter admits it's too early to predict.  But he said, "The degree of increase over the next several weeks should minimize..a little bit."