Brought to you by WBIW News and Network Indiana
Last updated on Saturday, June 8, 2013
(UNDATED) - Indiana’s average gas price is up well into the four dollar range. That’s about 50 cents over the U.S. average.
Many people are wondering what's going on.
Motorists are outraged when seeing gas prices anywhere from $3.99 to $4.30 in Martinsville.
While some may think this is a sign of price gouging, economist Bob Guell tells a different story.
"Price gouging would be a situation where a natural disaster isolated a city, so we couldn't get gasoline from anywhere and those people who had it were hoarding it and were selling it for an extraordinary price," said Guell.
He said it's just bad luck.
"Our part of the country gets gasoline from these five refineries," he said.
Two of those refineries are down, in part for planned maintenance, and part for unforeseeable glitches.
That means both are operating at diminished capacity.
"It's life, right? Things break...and if something breaks in a market that tight, prices will rise. It happens any time in a localized area where they're highly dependent on one or a couple of refineries and bad things happen there," said Guell.
What that means is the only way to get gas, is to truck it from Missouri, Ohio, or Kentucky.
And that is very expensive, which is why gasoline has gone up in the past few days.
Unfortunately, Guell said there's nothing anyone can do about it until those refineries are back up and running.
As soon as refineries are fixed and back in operating order, gas should go back down to the national average.
But there's no timetable for when that might be.
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