Prices are already high, but get ready to pay more at the pump across southeast Minnesota. Here's why that is.

I always get a kick out of the national news story reporting on gasoline prices this time of year. Prices ALWAYS seem to increase as we head into spring, with the excuse usually being it's the 'switchover to the summer season' at refineries across the country. Which is partly true, I guess, as THIS story explains. Refineries are required to make a summer-blend of gasoline that's easier on the environment.

This type of gasoline is more expensive to produce, too, which is why we see prices rise. But that price-spike usually comes to a peak around Memorial Day, not in early April. So what's up this year-- why have prices increased so much?

And they are higher than last year here in southeast Minnesota. This NBC News story says we're paying an average of about 15-cents more per gallon than early April of 2018. And, prices are up nearly 35-cents from just a month ago.

So what gives? Well, this CNBC story says it's all the flooding across the Midwest that have interrupted supplies and affected ethanol capacity too. "The flooding has hammered prices and trapped barrels in the country’s interior while the U.S. coasts suffer from shortages of the biofuel," CNBC noted, also saying "floods inflicted billions of dollars in damage to crops and homes in the U.S. Midwest, and knocked out roughly 13 percent of ethanol capacity," the story said.

Will we top last year's Memorial Day price of $2.83 a gallon? Seeing as it's only April 10th, I'm not holding my breath!

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