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Washtenaw County gas prices rise

Hand pumping gas
Creative Commons
Hand pumping gas

A series of events, including an unexpected winter storm are being blamed for a hike in gas prices over the past week.

Under a relatively new state law, each new year signals an increase in the state’s gas tax to keep up with inflation. That 1.4 cent increase went into effect this week.

But AAA Michigan spokesperson Adrienne Woodland says the tax hike was only a small portion of Washtenaw County’s 16-cents-a-gallon increase over the previous week. She says crude oil prices went up, but, more significantly, the unexpected winter storm conditions affected refineries and air travelers.

“You had folks that weren’t planning to drive that got in cars and drove. And so, of course, that pulled some unexpected demand as well as some refineries shut down, due to the frigid temperatures."

The average price per gallon in Ann Arbor is now $3.20 a gallon.

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Cathy Shafran was WEMU's afternoon news anchor and local host during WEMU's broadcast of NPR's All Things Considered.
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