Midwest gas prices soaring

Average retail gas prices in Nebraska continue to climb at an alarming rate, up 38 cents per gallon in the past week, averaging slightly over $4 a gallon according to GasBuddy.com's daily survey of 1,1150 outlets in Nebraska. In Scottsbluff, prices are significantly lower, however, with most outlets around the $3.60 mark. The national average is $3.67 gallon.

GasBuddy.com Senior Petroleum Analyst Patrick DeHaan says, "the last seven days have delivered some shocks at the pump for motorists in the nation's Midwest," DeHaan says he has never seen gasoline prices in the Midwest surpass California but areas of Nebraska, Minnesota, Oklahoma, North and South Dakota, and Kansas have done that. He adds gas price records in these areas aren't being quietly replaced, they're being blown out of the water. DeHaan says it is certainty rare for prices to spike in one area,fall in another, and hold steady in others.

DeHaan indicated last week that key refineries that are off-line due to maintenance is one reason for the increase. He also says retail prices are finally catching up with wholesale hikes.

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