MADISON (WKOW) -- Analysts says the continued idling of two major refineries in the Chicago area contributes to a dubious distinction in the Badger state: Thursday's statewide average price for a gallon of unleaded gasoline was $4.
AAA Wisconsin spokesperson Pam Moen says that's forty cents higher than the national average.
In the Madison area, at least about a dozen gas stations have hit the $4 per gallon mark.
Gasoline at stations with one major chain priced a gallon of unleaded at $4.19 Thursday. A Monona station selling costlier-to-refine no-ethanol gas pegged its price at $4.34.
The higher-than-normal price of gas, even in the run-up to the summer, driving season, is having its impact on customers.
Dorjee Ghudelabrawa is visiting Madison from New York, and says any thoughts of extending his stay have been vanquished by the pump prices. He says gasoline in New York is about thirty cents a gallon cheaper.
John Harth of Madison says on a college student's budget, any prolonged period of $4 per gallon gas will mean he'll be riding his bicycle or walking.
Baraboo's Sandy Dodge says alternatives to gas consumption are few for her family. She says a family member's health problems require frequent trips from Sauk County to Madison.
Moen says indications are that a refinery in northern Indiana, and an even larger one in Joilet, Illinois, will be back-on-line in early June, after being behind schedule following a standard shut-down for changing seasonal formulas for gas, and for maintenance.
But one Madison gas station owner tells 27 News his wholesaler informed him the wholesale price jumped again Thursday, meaning a pass-through and higher prices at the pump are possible Friday.
Moen says the record, statewide average price for a gallon of unleaded gas was set in May 2011: $4.11.
Moen says the maintenance work at the two, major supplying Midwest refiners should help make production more efficient in the long run, and lower pump prices.