The price of a gallon of gas is one of the most heated topics of discussion next to the color of a certain dress.

And the important question: Why do gas prices keep going up?

All we have heard from the experts is "the price of gas will go down even lower" and "Ten dollar barrels of oil are right around the corner."

Yet the price of gas has gone up to about $2.50 a gallon in the Grand Rapids area since last week.

There's a simple reason.

CBS News has this partial answer:

In Southern California, the price at the pump has spiked a record 79 cents, according to AAA. Drivers are lining up to fill up before prices go up again.

"'Right now we're basically in the eye of the storm,' says Allison Mac, an analyst with

"She says the problem is not the price of crude oil, which is holding steady at about $49 per barrel. The problem is at the refinery.'Summer fuel gasoline is actually more expensive to produce.' Refineries go through a maintenance cycle during the switch over. That means production is lower."

Also, the cold, cold winter hasn't helped, either. Refineries in the Northeastern U.S. have slowed production due to the recent cold snap. That's something we in West Michigan know all too much about.

Steve Hix/Somos Images/Corbis
Steve Hix/Somos Images/Corbis

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