ST. LOUIS PARK, Minn.- Gas prices hit a new record Thursday. Statewide the average was $3.99 a gallon, according to AAA. The previous record was $3.98 in 2008.
In the Twin Cities the average was $4.07 though there are several gas stations that were as high as $4.29.
The spike in prices was caused by maintenance closures of several refineries in the Midwest. The uptick prompted Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) to send a letter to Secretary of Energy Steven Chu on Thursday urging him to examine the timing of the closures.
Sen. Al Franken (D-MN), who introduced legislation last year to eliminate excessive oil speculation that drives up gas prices, released a statement saying he's working with the Department of Energy to explore ways to avoid multiple closures like this in the future.
As of Thursday evening Minnesota was second only to Hawaii for having the highest gas prices in the nation. Analysts predict prices will continue to rise over the next few weeks. Relief isn't expected until June.
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