A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

More pain at the pump as gas prices continue to surge; Kentucky average up 19 cents on the week

Drivers are paying more at the pump — a lot more — as the cost of gasoline moves steadily higher.

In the past two weeks, the national average for a gallon of gasoline has risen 21 cents to $4.33, matching the record high set on March 11. The increase is primarily due to the high cost of crude oil, which was hovering near $100 a barrel last week and is now closing in on $110. The national average has climbed 14 cents in the past week alone, twice what it did the previous week.

“With the cost of oil accounting for more than half of the pump price, more expensive oil means more expensive gasoline,” said Lori Weaver Hawkins, public affairs manager, AAA Blue Grass. “After having the sixth-lowest average price in the nation last week, Kentucky now finds itself with the third highest week-over-week price increase in the country.”

NKyTribune file

According to new data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA), total domestic gasoline stocks decreased by 2.2 million barrels to 228.6 million barrels last week. However, gasoline demand increased slightly from 8.74 million barrels a day to 8.86 million barrels a day. Increasing gas demand and rising oil prices have pushed pump prices higher. Pump prices will likely face upward pressure as oil prices remain above $105 per barrel.

Meanwhile, today’s national average for a gallon of gas is $4.33, which is 21 cents more than a month ago and $1.37 more than a year ago.

Kentucky’s gas price average is now at $4.02, 19 cents higher on the week and 15 cents higher on the month. Today’s price is $1.18 more than a year ago.

The counties with the highest gas price averages include Bath County at $4.22, followed by Menifee and Jefferson counties at $4.19, and Oldham at $4.17. Lowest average in the commonwealth can be found in Franklin County at $3.81.

Checking nearby, the average price for a gallon of unleaded today in Ohio is $4.09, West Virginia $4.14, Virginia $4.22, Tennessee $4.08, Indiana $4.23, Illinois $4.60 and Missouri $3.90.

The highest spot in the nation is California at $5.83, followed by Hawaii at $5.28. Georgia has the lowest gas price average in the nation, currently at $3.84.

Meanwhile, diesel prices continue to break record highs, with the national average setting a new high mark today at $5.54. Here in Kentucky, the average prices of diesel is now at $5.24, also a new record.

The nation’s top 10 largest weekly increases: Michigan (+26 cents), New Jersey (+25 cents), Connecticut (+19 cents), Kentucky (+19 cents), Indiana (+19 cents), Rhode Island (+19 cents), Illinois (+19 cents), Washington, D.C. (+19 cents), Alabama (+18 cents) and Tennessee (+18 cents).

The nation’s top 10 most expensive markets: California ($5.83), Hawaii ($5.28), Nevada ($5.12), Washington ($4.83), Oregon ($4.81), Alaska ($4.73), Washington, D.C. ($4.70), Arizona ($4.66), Illinois ($4.60) and New York ($4.52).

At the close of Friday’s formal trading session, West Texas Intermediate increased by $1.51 to settle at $109.77. Crude prices rose last week after the European Union announced a proposal to ban Russian oil imports within six months, while refined product imports would be prohibited by the end of 2022. The price increases occurred despite continuing COVID lockdowns in China weighing down crude demand and EIA reporting that total domestic crude inventories increased by 1.3 million barrels to 415.7 million barrels. This is approximately 14 percent lower than the storage level at the end of April 2021. Since supply remains tight and the market remains highly volatile, crude prices will likely continue to fluctuate this week, potentially pushing pump prices higher.

AAA Blue Grass

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