Feeling pain at the pump

Art Armstrong of Genoa has developed a few strategies to cope with the rising cost of gas.

“I try to shop local to save gas and I try to combine trips as much as possible,” Armstrong said on June 14 as he pumped gas into his truck at the Mobil station in Genoa, where it was $4.09. “Or I try to find an excuse to go to Belvidere to get it cheaper.”

Armstrong said that he can usually save about 15 cents per gallon buying gas in Boone County.

The rising gas prices come from five Great Lakes region refineries operating at less than capacity over the last few weeks, said Gregg Laskoski, senior petroleum analyst at www.gasbuddy.com. Last week, Illinois had the second-highest average gas price in the country at $4.25 per gallon.

Prices have seen steady declines elsewhere, Laskoski said. The average price-per-gallon in the U.S. is $3.64.

Fortunately, according to www.gasbuddy.com senior petroleum analyst Patrick DeHann, an Exxon Mobil refinery in Joliet recently came back online, which could bring gas prices down 15 to 30 cents per gallon by the Fourth of July.

“I live in St. Charles and I see a difference between there and here,” said Bill Meyer as he pumped gas at the Marathon station on Route 23 in Sycamore, where gas was $4.19 a gallon. “90 percent of the time the prices are in the ballpark of 10 to 15 cents cheaper here.”

Meyer added that prices in Chicago are “just insane.”

“I think it’s still about $4.70 in downtown Chicago,” he said.

Felix Sarver of the Daily Chronicle and Jim Dallke of the Northwest Herald contributed to this article.