PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — There are a lot of things to blame for the new $3.71 national average – Iran, refinery issues, speculators – but most of us don’t care about the reason.

We just want this upward ride to stop.

“There’s probably another dime built into the market,” Ben Brockwell with the Oil Price Information Service said.

He says another 10 cents a gallon is likely.

“It’s already built into the cost of product – it just hasn’t been passed through at retail yet,” he said.

By Memorial Day, $4 a gallon could be a reality.

Gas prices around the country range from a West Coast high of over $4 to a Colorado low of $2.93 – that’s more than $1.50 cheaper than here. It’s happening because they’re getting abundant cheap oil from Canada while we compete for tight supplies from the East Coast.

On top of that, the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s Joanne Shore said if Sunoco can’t find a buyer for its Philadelphia refinery and shuts it down as promised in July, gas locally could become scarce.

Virtually all the gasoline we burn here in the Pittsburgh region comes through pipelines from the Philly and southern New York region. If that source slows down, they could have to truck in gas from the west, driving prices up.

Sunoco, however, is hopeful it will find a buyer. Whether the deals can be done to avert a summer shut down isn’t known.

Meanwhile, the legislative effort to lift the summer gas formula restrictions continues and if successful, the oil companies are looking into ways to possibly pipe in cheaper fuels to our area from the Midwest.

Oil Price Information Service
U.S. Energy Information Administration

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