EDINA, Minn. - Minnesota gas prices are nearing an all-time high sending consumers scrambling for deals and answers.
"You just wonder how that happens," says driver Joe Bridges. "It doesn't even seem logical."
Gas has topped $4 at many locations across the state and gas station owners have been fielding complaints all day.
"I'm the guy that gets beat up on the corner," says Kevin Lang, owner of Lang's One Stop Market in Edina. "(They think) I'm the guy that's getting rich, but that's not the way it is."
Lang has run his business off Highway 100 in Edina for 30 years. With gas at $4.19 a gallon, his price board is about to enter uncharted territory.
"I think we were higher than this one time, when Hurricane Katrina hit," says Lang.
The reason, according to AAA, is that two massive refineries near Chicago have shut down for maintenance sending wholesale prices soaring.
Routine maintenance usually lasts a week or so, but these shutdowns are more extensive as the age of these refineries starts to show.
"There is no relief in sight," says Gail Weinholzer, public affairs director for AAA Minnesota/Iowa. "Both of these refineries will not even attempt a restart until after Memorial Day. One of them may not even attempt a restart until the 4th of July."
Both refineries service the upper Midwest, putting a squeeze on supply.
At Lang's One Stop Market in Edina, the cashiers have been put on high alert for people stealing gas and owner Kevin Lang is worried about the broader impact.
"It just scares me because when the gas gets over 4 bucks a gallon the brakes go on," says Lang. "Trucking has a problem, everybody has a problem."
Minnesota's record high average gas price was $3.98 set back on July 16, 2008. AAA believes the state could top that record this week.
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