Twice every year in the United States, the fuel supply changes. It's known as the seasonal gasoline transition. This change is the biggest reason for the price hike in summer gasoline. Depending on the time of year, gas stations switch between providing summer-grade fuel and winter-grade fuel. The switch started in 1995 as part of the Reformulated Gasoline Program (RFG), which was established through the 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) started the RFG program in order to reduce pollution and smog during the summer ozone season, which occurs from June 1 to Sept. 15 [Source: EPA].
In order to reduce pollution, summer-blend fuels use different oxygenates, or fuel additives. These blends, the EPA claims, burn cleaner and also help compensate for a limited oil supply. The EPA says this practice of using seasonal blends also encourages the development of alternative fuels [Source: EPA]. (Remember that gasoline isn't just made up of processed crude oil -- it's a blend of refined crude oil and different compounds and additives.)
Maintenance issues at refineries across the country have caused spikes first in the Midwest cornbelt and now closer to home, DeHaan said.
“Now everyone’s rushing the pumps, because prices have been going through the roof,” he said. And that increase in demand can drive prices even higher.
The good news is this is temporary. DeHaan predicts in a week or two prices will settle back down to “normal” — the mid- to upper-$3 range.
Gas hit $4.15 in West Michigan on Saturday, June 1, and stayed there days after. Analysts blamed refinery troubles in the Midwest and rumors one refinery was short on supply.
According to gasbuddy.com, problems at refineries in Indiana and Illinois — which supply states within the Great Lakes region — forced production to refineries in Kansas and Oklahoma, resulting in higher costs.
Originally posted by superman2012
$5.29 a gallon in Canada...quit whining.