According to AAA Michigan, gas priced in the area jumped anywhere from 15 to 30 cents overnight, to a statewide average of about $2.58 a gallon.
“The BP refinery is experiencing an unexpected shutdown and we don’t know the extent of the damage, but we do know there’s going to be price increases…and it looks like it’s continuing to go higher,” AAA spokeswoman Susan Hiltz said.
Hiltz told WWJ Newsradio 950 the shutdown — at the nation’s seventh largest refinery and the largest in the Midwest — is affecting gas prices in Michigan, Indiana and Ohio.
Jewel Jones of Farmington says not happy about the prices, but there is nothing drivers can do about it.
“We need gas, so you just pay it! You just pay it! You gotta get to work, you gotta get the kids to school, you just pay it! That’s all. You just pay it,” Jones said.
Hiltz offered the following tips for saving fuel when prices are high:
“Accelerate gradually, anticipate your stops, avoid long warm-ups in the morning, maintain your recommended tire pressure, keep your air filter clean, slow down, combine errands, don’t use your trunk for storage, and shop around for the best price in gas.”
As Michigan drivers deal with a spike in gasoline prices, gas stations are being warned by the condition against any attempt to take good advantage of customers by price-fixing or price gouging.
Attorney General Bill Schuette also delivered a letter to BP, asking for particulars regarding the a refinery shut-down that has sent gas prices rising.
“As Labor Day weekend approaches, the consequences of an interruption at a leading Indiana petroleum refinery together with added factors, signifies Michigan families are finding a gain in the price in the pump. These circumstances don’t constitute a free pass for gas stations to gouge buyers,” Schuette said in a statement. “We will not tolerate any unscrupulous behavior that violates Michigan law when it comes to gouging and price-fixing.”
Beneath the Michigan Consumer Protection Act, a retail merchant may perhaps not bill a price that is “grossly in excess of the price at which similar property or services are sold.” Anti-trust gasoline stations are also prohibited by laws from entering into deals to randomly fix prices together.