Drivers paying more at the pump - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Drivers paying more at the pump


ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) --  Local gas prices jumped another ten cents in many spots late Sunday night, putting the price at several Rochester pumps at $3.69 a gallon.

Last month, Minnesota's average gas price hikes led the nation.

"The gas jumped up like 30 cents overnight a little bit too much, too steep," says consumer Lawrence Ford.

The 33 cent jump per gallon in Minnesota compares to the 13 cent increase for regular unleaded gas nationwide. Rochester saw a huge hike in a short time but gas prices are actually a penny less in Rochester than the national average, according to AAA. Part of that is because Minnesota's gas tax is lower than other states.

Even so, gas prices are soaring and here's why.

"Crude oil today is about 97 dollars a barrel," said Jeff Lund, Energy Manager at Greenway Co-op in Rochester.

Since mid-December crude oil has gone up almost $10 a barrel for various reasons including, "Aspirations for nuclear weapons in Iran, we have things going on in Syria, supply and demand," Lund said. "We have refineries going into turnaround during maintenance so things are getting a little bit tight and that makes the price of gas go up."

If you want to break it down at the pump here's what the price of gas involves.

"It starts off with a barrel of Crude oil which accounts for about 68 percent of the price of gasoline," Lund said.

Crude oil is currently at $2.28 a gallon. When you add the federal excise tax on gasoline ($0.18/gallon) and the state excise tax ($0.286/gallon), that adds roughly 47 cents a gallon more.  There is no local sales tax on gasoline in Rochester. 

It's not a simple answer but other factors involved in the price increase are refining, distribution and marketing.

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