Experts: Oil spill contributing to rising gas prices - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Experts: Oil spill contributing to rising gas prices


We're seeing a jump at the pump and experts say it's all from a perfect storm of problems in our area. One cause—an oil spill of more than 50,000 gallons in Adams County.

It's been six days since it happened and DNR officials say the clean-up is still ongoing. Crews are now removing contaminated soil.

It happened Friday afternoon near Grand Marsh, just south of Adams. Enbridge Energy owns the pipeline.

Officials there tell Newsline 9 the section that failed has been replaced.

But the Federal Government has stepped in, stopping Enbridge Energy from re-opening the pipeline. That's until the company creates a restart plan and has an outside expert review it.

No one from the Federal Government was available for an interview, but Enbridge leaders tell us they've already started that process.

"We never want this to happen either, so when it does, we take swift action and work with agencies to learn what happened in each incident and make improvements to continue moving forward," Enbridge Energy Partners Public Affairs Advisor Jennifer Smith said.

Experts say the oil spill in Adams County isn't the only thing affecting customers at the pump.

Gas prices continue to rise, up 20 cents in our state since just last week.

"See the prices go up all the time," Cletus Rogney from Auburndale said.

Experts say the oil spill is a factor.

"These are temporary problems. Unfortunately it's going to pinch motorists in wallets," Patrick DeHann, a Senior Petroleum Analyst at, said.

But that's not the only one. Three refineries in nearby states are also having problems—ranging from a glitch to planned renovations, leading to higher prices in Wisconsin.

"When supply is constricted, that's going to put increased pressure on prices," UWSP Chief Economist Randy Cray said.

That's an increase that could approach almost $4 a gallon.

"It doesn't take too much to raise the price, right?" Rachel Robus of Marshfield said.

The price of gas hasn't gone up much at Weiler stations in Marshfield. But employees said that may soon change.

"We're getting busy with people getting scared it's going to skyrocket," Weiler Convenience Store employee Collin Frankwick said.

According to, Wisconsin's gas prices are higher than the country's average. On Thursday, it was close to $3.75 a gallon. Last week, the state was close to the nation's average, 20 cents from where we are now.

But how long will it last?

"Unfortunately, it may take several weeks, 2-3 to see the trend in gas prices move downward yet again," DeHann said.

In the meantime, some say they just travel less.

"We don't go any more than we have to," Rogney said.



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