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Drastic Gas Price Hike Leaves Oklahomans With Empty Pockets

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In the past month, a gallon of gas has climbed by about 50 cents a gallon in Oklahoma. In the past month, a gallon of gas has climbed by about 50 cents a gallon in Oklahoma.
The Sooner State is currently the ninth highest when it comes to gas prices. The Sooner State is currently the ninth highest when it comes to gas prices.
"It's frustrating and it hurts, you know, because you've got stuff you've got to do,” Ella James said. “It's just one of those things you've got to pay for." "It's frustrating and it hurts, you know, because you've got stuff you've got to do,” Ella James said. “It's just one of those things you've got to pay for."

It isn't pretty at the pump. Gas prices in Oklahoma are a lot higher than the national average.

The average price for a gallon of gas is $3.81. That's up 10 cents from yesterday and nearly 50 cents from a month ago.

Industry experts said the spike in prices in the nation's heartland is a supply issue.

Three refineries in Kansas and Wyoming, which supply a lot of gas to Oklahoma and other states, are either down for unplanned outages or ramping up from outages.

It's hitting Oklahoma drivers hard.

"Pocketbook, the billfold, savings account,” Ella James said. “It's hitting you everywhere. It's not missing nothing."

In the past month, a gallon of gas has climbed by about 50 cents a gallon in Oklahoma. That's significantly more than drivers are paying in other cities not far from here, such as Dallas and Little Rock.

Usually, Oklahoma is one of the bottom five states for the cost of gas. But not right now. Hiked prices are leaving a lot of drivers cash strapped."

In the past couple of weeks, each time Oklahoma drivers fill up, they often get fed up. Gas prices are up nearly 50 cents per gallon from a month ago, up 32 cents in the past week and up a dime in just the past day.

"I pay for so much in gas, man, my pockets [are] broke," Tevin Washington said.

Oklahoma prices are the ninth highest in the nation -- 20 cents per gallon higher than the national average.

It's hitting drivers hard.

"It get higher every month,” Washington said. “I don't understand it.

It is hard to understand, so we went to an expert.

Charlie Drevna is the President of the American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers Association. He said the price jump comes down to low supply.

“Of course when you impact supply, naturally the price at the price at the pump is going to trend upward," Drevna said.

He said three refineries, big suppliers of gas for the great plains region, are experiencing unplanned outages. It includes two Holly Frontier refineries in Kansas and Wyoming and a CVR refinery in Kansas that hasn't ramped up to full production yet after an unplanned outage.

"You can see where just one upset in the refinery can impact supply, and ultimately price,” Drevna said. “This is why we keep saying that these refineries, and even our petrochemical companies, they're critical national assets."

Tulsa's Holly refinery is running normally, but it will reduce production later this summer for maintenance.

Since the three refineries in Kansas and Wyoming are in the nation's heartland, that's why central U.S. states are paying more for gas right now.

Drivers are ready for everything to get back on line and back to normal.

"It's frustrating and it hurts, you know, because you've got stuff you've got to do,” James said. “It's just one of those things you've got to pay for."

Drivers in Missouri and Kansas are paying close to the same rates as Oklahomans right now. Texas and Arkansas prices are about 40 cents a gallon less.

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