Gas prices will increase 15 cents per gallon in coming months

Minnesotans will see the price of gasoline increase by about 15 cents per gallon in the coming months as oil refineries switch from winter-blend gasoline to summer-blend gasoline in March and April. Fuel terminals must only sell summer blend gas after May 1, and all gas stations must complete the change over by June 1.

Why do we have two different blends of gasoline?

According to Gas Buddy, seasonal temperatures and government regulations make a big difference in the type of gasoline we use in our vehicles.

Summer blends are needed in the warmer months because gasoline has a greater chance of evaporating from the fuel system in your vehicle. This can produce additional smog and increased emissions. Refiners reduce the chance of gas evaporation in your car during the summer by producing gasoline blends that have lower Reid vapor pressure (RVP), or lower volatility. These blends vary from state-to-state, region-to-region due to RVP state regulations.

Winter blends are optimized to help cars start in cold temperatures. This blend is cheaper to produce, which results in lower gas prices at the pumps from late September through late April. 

There is often an urge to assign blame for rising gas prices to elected officials. In many cases, this blame is deserved, but when it comes to the coming increase in prices due to a change in gas blends, we should understand that some price increases are beyond their control.