August 1, 2012 @ 10:11 am
by mego

Photo by Jim Weber / AP

Gas prices are on the rise again, after several months of stable or declining prices. The national average is now $3.52 a gallon, a 17 cent increase in less than a month.

“More and more locations say prices are above where they were last year — and last year was the most expensive for motor fuel,” says Oil Price Information Service analyst Tom Kloza. Gas averaged $3.71 a gallon in July 2011.

The Midwest is particularly pinched. Refinery woes in Indiana and Illinois have crimped output, propelling prices to as high as $4.29 a gallon in Chicago and to near $4 levels in several regions of the Rust Belt.

“It’s been pretty lousy,” says Patrick DeHaan, senior energy analyst for price tracker “In some states, there’s been a 40- to 50-cent increase.”

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