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Illinois Gas Prices Hit Peak

By AP/KWMU

East Peoria, Ill – Illinois gasoline prices hit a high for the year Friday, and analysts say they could reach $2 per gallon by summer.

AAA Chicago Motor Club said Friday's average price for self-service regular was $1.73 per gallon statewide. That's up 22 cents since the price climb began in December.

Triple-A spokesman Steve Nolan says the surge is expected to continue. He says prices could top $2 a gallon by summer, when costs traditionally rise because of increased demand.

The two-dollar milestone would be a first in downstate Illinois.

AAA says the highest-record downstate average was $1.95 in 2001. The Chicago area topped the $2 barrier in 2000.

Nolan says prices have surged this year because of worldwide oil production cuts and higher refinery costs.

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