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WNIJ's Gas Price Monday: March 14th, 2016

Carl Nelson/WNIJ

The cost of driving has skyrocketed over the past week, according to the latest AAA Daily Fuel Gauge Report.

The average cost of a gallon of regular unleaded in Illinoishas topped the $2.00 mark after the steepest increases of the year. The state average is $2.06, 18 cents higher than last Monday. It's 50 cents higher than a month ago, but still cheaper than it was this time last year, when it was $2.37 a gallon.

The national average shot up 12 cents a gallon, to $1.93.

Rockford drivers are looking at a 17 cent increase, to $1.94 per gallon. 

The cheapest gas in the state, on average, is in the Peoria-Pekin market, at $1.87.

The reasons behind the steep increase, according to analysts at gasbuddy.com are a 45% increase in crude oil prices over the past month and a smaller supply of gasoline from refineries. They're performing seasonal maintenance and transitioning to summer gasoline formulas.

Susan is an award-winning reporter/writer at her favorite radio station. She's also WNIJ's Perspectives editor, Under Rocks contributor, and local host of All Things Considered.