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Report: Winter weather to blame for latest rise in gas prices

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(WEEK) -- The harsh winter weather that stretched across most of the U.S. last week is causing gas prices to rise, according to GasBuddy's weekly report.

In the Peoria area, prices at the pump are up 7.5 cents per gallon in the past week, averaging $2.77 per gallon, according to a survey of 148 stations in the area.

Compared to a month ago, prices are up 23.9 cents per gallon.

The lowest price found in the area is at $2.57, while the most expensive is being surveyed at $2.89.

The Quad Cities area is seeing an average of $2.63 per gallon and the Champaign area is surveyed at an average of $2.71 per gallon.

The statewide average is being reported at $2.74 per gallon, up 9 cents from last week.

"With last week's extreme cold shutting down millions of barrels per day in refinery capacity, gas prices have seen their largest weekly climb in quite some time. The jump in price was the result of a dozen or so refineries, primarily in Texas, that were forced to shut down as the frigid temperatures threatened to wreak havoc on their exposed equipment. With the cold weather behind us, price increases show begin to slow later this week or next week, and so long as these refineries get back online in short order, we may see gas prices start to move back down in the next couple of weeks. However, as we near spring weather, we'll likely see another longer term rise in prices begin as refineries start to transition to summer gasoline, so motorists shouldn't jump for joy just yet."

Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis for GasBuddy

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