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State immune to rising costs of gas for now

Last Modified: Monday, May 20, 2013 11:03 AM

By Lance Traweek / American Press

Gas prices in Louisiana “have been immune” to the rising costs of gas across the Midwest caused by shortages, a AAA spokesman said Sunday.

The national average for gasoline is $3.65 a gallon — up 14 cents from a month ago and up 7 cents from a week ago, according to AAA. The price is down 5 cents from this time last year. However, the average price in Louisiana is $3.32 — the same price from a month ago but down 18 cents from this time last year.

“I don’t know how long Louisiana’s gas prices are going to be stable because whenever you have an outage for a major portion everyone’s prices will eventually go up whether they’re directly impacted or not,” said Michael Right, AAA vice president of public affairs.

There are a number of refineries that are down for maintenance, keeping some of the product off the market, Right said. There has also been a “modest increase” in the price of crude oil in the last two days. Right said “God only knows” why.

The problem is primarily concentrated in the upper Midwest. The outages are in Illinois, Indiana and Kansas, he said.

According to AAA, the states paying more than $4 a gallon are Alaska, $4.07; Hawaii, $4.36; Iowa, $4.01; Illinois, $4.05; Minnesota, $4.27; North Dakota, $4.20; and Nebraska, $4.03.

Don Redman, AAA public affairs specialist, has said Louisiana is typically 10 cents behind the national average.

According to www.louisianagasprices.com, the cheapest gas in Lake Charles is at Sam’s Club for $3.14 a gallon. In Sulphur, the cheapest gas is $3.17 a gallon at Circle K. In Westlake, gas costs $3.21 a gallon at Circle K. In Moss Bluff, the cheapest gas is $3.15 a gallon at Chevron.

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