Prices at the gas pump frustrate drivers in southeast Wisconsin

MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- Those of you looking over your summer travel itineraries may want to keep a close eye on gas prices. The national average for regular unleaded is up about five cents a gallon since last week -- and nearly 10 cents a gallon since last month.

Typically, "Food Truck Friday" means the hungry among us hustle to Milwaukee's downtown to load up on lunch.  But on this Friday, Deb and Craig Mengeling's Hardwood Cafe has the lunch hour locked down -- as they are the only mobile food vendor around.

Mengeling says the cool weather quells the crowds and reduces revenues. His concerns are compounded by the rising price of petroleum -- since his generator guzzles gas.

"If it's a little colder, it takes a little more gas, because you have to turn-up your heat on the steam-tables, 'n' stuff," said Mengeling.

John Selmy is a chief economist at the American Petroleum Institute. He explains that world-wide, overall demand for crude oil has slowed. But it remains at record levels thanks to particularly populated regions including China.

"The demand for petroleum continues to grow. They're buying over 20-million cars. They're growing at 7-percent-plus, each year, and so the petroleum demand continues to increase in places, like China, plus places, like India," said Selmy.

Meanwhile, in southeast Wisconsin, we also have to consider the cost of the reformulated gas we use during our warm weather months. According to Selmy, Wisconsin is just one of several states which uses reformulated gas. That reformulation, which began on May 1st, costs drivers about 20 cents more per gallon.