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NORTHEAST OHIO Fire cause of rise in gas prices



Published: Fri, August 24, 2001 @ 12:00 a.m.



Local prices are lower than elsewhere in Northeast Ohio.

YOUNGSTOWN -- Gasoline prices are back up again, thanks partly to a fire last week at an Illinois refinery.

The AAA-Ohio Motorists Association in Cleveland said the refinery is expected to be closed for about a month. This is pushing prices up in the Midwest and elsewhere as supplies are drawn from the Gulf Coast and Northeast to make up for the shortage, the AAA said.

Prices have gone up so dramatically recently that the average self-serve price for gasoline in California is 2 cents lower than in Northeast Ohio. California usually tops the nation in gas prices.

Earlier this year, AAA said Northeast Ohio had some of the lowest prices in the nation.

Survey: The AAA said Thursday the average price for self-serve gas in Northeast Ohio is $1.59, compared with $1.46 last week and $1.45 during the same week last year. The AAA survey covers stations in nine counties, including Mahoning and Trumbull.

Prices in the Mahoning Valley are lower than the northeast Ohio average, however. Several area stations checked this morning were charging between $1.29 and $1.35.

That is up from the $1.19 that some stations were charging a month ago. Earlier this spring, local prices reached $1.80.

The national average for self-serve regular this week is $1.43, while the state with the lowest average price is Georgia at $1.27, the AAA said.




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