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Sticker Shock: Why You Saw Gas Prices Jump Over the Weekend

JACKSON, Miss.–There are no places in Mississippi where you can get gas for under $3 per gallon, according to IF you went to the pump this morning, you might’ve experienced sticker shock. The average price for Mississippi gas went up to $3.24.

“The summer grade gasoline is less volatile than winter grade,” said Don Redmon, spokesman for AAA Mississippi. He said the reason gas jumps up in the spring months is that when it gets warmer, refineries across the country change blends to accomodate the way engines burn gas in different temperatures.

“It also burns cleaner. And we see a ton more usage driving, and demand for gasoline in the warmer months.”

AUDIO: News Mississippi’s Kipp Gregory talks with Don Redmon

What may be even more interesting, and a bit angering if you’re feeling the sting in your monthly budget, is that some refineries actually produce a particular grade of gas for a particular city, especially in California and on the west coast.

“Ultimately you have about 15 boutique blends of gasoline nation-wide.”

That can cause a refinery to go down, mix the new blend(s), then take the time to have to restart. That ends up costing you money in gas prices.

Redmon said there are other factors that play into how much gas goes up during the spring months, along with the refineries mixing new blends.

“The geo-political tensions in the past few years we’ve seen, from Arab spring, from Lybia to Egypt.”

He said the situation in the Ukraine does not seem to be playing into the oil market right now, with oil prices even having dropped during the crisis.

Redmon said that Mississippi gas prices right now are about 30 cents cheaper than this time last year, if that makes you feel any better.

Probably not.

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