Why gas prices in Madison are soaring past the national average

MADISON, Wis. — After a historic 14-week streak of national weekly price dips in gasoline, prices at the pump rose across the country this week — but in Madison, the increase was much more dramatic.

According to AAA, the national average price for a gallon of regular unleaded gas sits at $3.72 as of Monday. Wisconsin’s average is slightly higher at $3.76 per gallon, and has increased more than 35 cents over the past week.

“It’s definitely increased my living expense,” Safwin Takar said. “I can’t have money stashed away, I’m a student too, so it’s kind of stressing me and taking me away from my studies, so, you know, the American Dream is kind of a little harder now.”

Wisconsin as a whole has seen the second largest week-over-week price increase in the country.

The cause? A refinery fire in Toledo, Ohio that left two people dead and the plant offline. Without gas from the go-to refinery, Wisconsin has had to get its fuel elsewhere, leading to price hikes.

“That’s causing us to have to shift our sourcing for gasoline to other refineries that are further away and a little more complicated to get the gas from, so that adds additional layers of expense in terms of distribution and logistics, and that gets passed along to the consumers,” said Nick Jarmusz of AAA Wisconsin.

While the entire Great Lakes region suffers the price hike, there is hope on the horizon with the refinery expected to come back online by early next week.

“It does seem like once that refinery is back online and once we are able to switch back to our normal logistics and distribution patterns, we should see prices come back down to where the rest of the country is,” Jarmusz said.

Still, that may not solve all the problems, especially if Hurricane Ian disrupts production in the Gulf of Mexico.

There is some good news at the pump: the average price of a gallon of diesel fuel fell 12 cents in Wisconsin over the past week, AAA reported.

The state is still more than a dollar short of its record average of $4.92, which was set in mid-June.

For the latest Wisconsin gas prices from AAA, click here.