Gas Prices Set Record, Klobuchar Calls for Investigation

Posted at: 05/15/2013 6:36 PM
Updated at: 05/17/2013 11:58 AM

U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar is calling for a federal investigation after gas prices hit new record highs in Minnesota.

The AAA says Minnesota's average gas price hit $3.992 per gallon Thursday, breaking the previous record of $3.978 set on July 16, 2008.  Duluth's average gas price as of Thursday was $4.065, breaking the previous record of $4.045 set on July 14, 2008.  Some Duluth stations were charging nearly $4.20.

AAA figures show Wisconsin's gas price average is lower than Minnesota's, while prices in Illinois are about the same.

AAA spokesperson Gail Weinholzer tells the Star Tribune reduced capacity due to the closures of two large refineries in the Chicago area is the main culprit.  She says the high gas prices could hang around until July.

Klobuchar sent a letter to Energy Secretary Steven Chu Thursday calling on the Energy Department to thoroughly examine the closures and timing of maintenance operations.

"Scheduled maintenance at refineries should not be allowed to cause such major disruptions in supply. That’s why I have called on the Department of Energy to thoroughly review the closures and the timing of maintenance operations and take action to prevent future supply problems that cause consumers pain at the pump," Klobuchar said in a press release.

(Copyright 2013 WDIO-TV, LLC. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)