Why are gas prices so high?

Drivers have been hurting at the pump recently as gas prices skyrocketed in the last week. But the national average is sitting steadily around $3.63, so why is Michigan's so much higher?

According to Gregg Laskoski with, Michigan is among the worst in the nation for gas prices, with only Illinois sitting one cent higher at $4.27. Statewide, the average is $4.25 as of Thursday.

Laskoski says the problem is contained in the Great Lakes region, which is why Illinois' prices skyrocketed this past week as well. There are only 4 or 5 refineries servicing the Great Lakes area - and unfortunately for drivers - each refinery is facing a different set of problems right now.

BP's refinery in Whiting, Indiana is only operating at 1/3 capacity. Exxon Mobil in Joliet, Illinois has been down for 44 days now.

Boaters and Harbor masters are also feeling the effects of the high gas prices, while having to pay the extra cash for premium or diesel fuel.

Private marinas like Harbor West Yacht Club, who's prices have reach $4.89 cents per gallon, have to pay more than the public marinas due to the size of their fuel tanks.

"We only have a 2-thousand and a 3-thousand gallon tank so we can't get the big fuel tanks in here like some of the municipal marinas can," said John Melichar, Harbor West Yacht Club Harbor Master.

Clinch Park Marina in Traverse City is up to $4.79 per gallon of gas, while the East Jordan Public Marina is Charlevoix County has reached $4.55 per gallon.

Laskoski says he is cautiously optimistic that the issues will be addressed in a matter of days. If that is the case, drivers and boaters should see a moderate downward slide in prices as the problem is corrected.