Illinois' AG and Chicago mayor question gas prices spike

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CHICAGO (AP) — Attorney General Lisa Madigan and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel say they want answers from the Illinois Petroleum Council about the gas prices increase.

Both sent a letter Monday asking the council to outline causes, when prices are expected to decline and how to prevent future increases.

Stations in the Midwest depend on BP's Whiting, Indiana, refinery. The facility unexpectedly shut down a crude distillation unit for repairs this month.

The Chicago Tribune ( ) reports retail gas prices around Chicago average $3.31 a gallon, which is about 70 cents higher than the national average.

Madigan and Emanuel wrote that they understand the outage, but crude oil prices are at all-time lows.

The council's executive director, Jim Watson, tells the Tribune he's going to research the questions and respond.