NEW YORK | The gasoline price roller coaster is running a strange course this summer.
Gas prices across Northwest Indiana have risen near the $4 a gallon range, but should peak soon and end up lower than they were last summer.
About 7,000 tradesman are still working on the BP Whiting Refinery project, or about half as many as had been employed during the peak of the construction.
Gas prices have been dropping and could be 20 to 25 cents lower by Halloween.
Work on the $3.8 billion modernization of BP's Whiting Refinery will wind down this year, but a big maintenance project on a gasoline-producing unit is slated for early next year.
High gas prices have squeezed the wholesale and retail gasoline industries, said Tom Collins, the chief executive officer of Luke Oil.
BP has agreed to pay $7 million to settle a class-action lawsuit over bad gas that came from the Whiting Refinery last summer.
The lobbying group for Indiana's gasoline station operators is pushing legislation that would close a long-time loophole in the way sales taxes on gasoline are collected.
Gas prices in the region have rose to about $3.40 per gallon compared to $3.19, and in some places, as low as $3.09, just several days ago.
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BP has paid more than $1.5 million to people after its multistate gasoline recall last month and is still in the process of handling nearly 14,000 claims.
BP said all gasoline shipped from its Whiting Refinery and its network of storage terminals meets quality specifications and is authorized for sale, according to a news release issued Monday.
Seretha Harvey, of Hammond, thought she was having tough luck with her vehicle when it started to "act funny" in early July.
Two law firms are bringing a class-action lawsuit against BP Corp. North America seeking $5 million in damages on behalf of consumers who bought tainted gasoline from the oil giant in four states during the past week.
Law firms in Indianapolis and Merrillville plan on working together to file a lawsuit against BP on behalf of people whose vehicles sustained damage prior to BP's recall of gasoline sent to at least three states.
Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller said his office has opened an investigation into the BP gasoline recall to ensure consumers' rights are protected, according to a news release issued Wednesday.
A spokeswoman from the Indiana State Department of Health said the agency is aware of the fuel quality issues in Northwest Indiana and has inspectors conducting sampling and octane testing in three counties.
Hundreds of frustrated and concerned customers flooded BP customer service phone lines Tuesday following a recall of gasoline the company initiated Monday.
BP America issued a recall Monday for unleaded regular gasoline from Northwest Indiana fuel distributors that was shipped from the company's Whiting fuel storage terminal between Aug. 13 and Friday.
Refinery issues and gasoline and crude oil inventories are all playing a part in another spike in gas prices.
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