First of all, let's stop for a moment and be thankful that, despite how high gas prices have gotten compared to where they were during the first 8 months of the pandemic, let's say, Daviess County and many NEARBY counties are on the lowest rung of the ladder in this department.

WILDLY VARYING GAS PRICES

Right at this moment (12:43 PM on February 21st, 2022), according to AAA, the average price for a gallon of gas in Daviess County is $3.09 while Henderson County's average sits at $2.92. Just hover over a county and you'll see the number.

So both counties are at least 13 cents below the state average of $3.22 per gallon, but the 17-cent difference is what is notable to me. And it CAN be much greater than that--an example I saw this weekend reflects that.

GASOLINE -- OWENSBORO VS. HENDERSON

Many of the gas station/convenience stores on Owensboro's east side are currently hovering around $3.19 a gallon. I see those more often since those establishments are closer to my house. Now, this weekend, when we were driving through Henderson, I saw $2.88 a gallon at one business and wondered again about the huge difference in prices between two cities that are barely 30 minutes apart. (To be fair, multiple stations on the WEST side of Owensboro are closer to Henderson's prices; this comes from GasBuddy.com.)

Some of you may know this, but I didn't. So I did some research, and I'm still not sure I'm satisfied.

WHY GAS PRICES CAN SWING SO WILDLY

I checked Dummies.com (as in Gas Prices for Dummies, I guess) and it gave the info I ALREADY knew, like how crude oil prices affect our gasoline prices. But what I was looking for, in terms of the local level, was just kind of "touched on" there.

So I moved on to the U.S. Energy Information Administration where I learned, for starters, that Kentucky and Tennessee are considered MIDWESTERN states. But I also got what I think will be the best answer I'm GOING to get.

The EIA informs us that while state and local taxes (I'm guessing the latter is a far more significant factor because they will vary from city to city) play a big part, so does the distance from the gas supply. And obviously local competition.

MAYBE I'LL NEVER KNOW 100% FOR SURE

HOWEVER, I'm still not sure why there are such wild swings between Owensboro and Henderson, and for this reason...there are periods when the gas prices are MUCH lower in Henderson than in Owensboro. But there are periods when the exact opposite is true. And that inconsistency is what confuses me.

Will I ever drive to Henderson JUST to get gas? It depends on how big the difference is, I guess. But right now, I'd say no.

Oh and, hey, the Henderson/Owensboro variance doesn't hold a CANDLE to what you will experience when you cross the Ohio River from Kentucky to Indiana. Seriously, if you're a Kentuckian, get your gas in the Commonwealth before heading north.

LOOK: See how much gasoline cost the year you started driving

To find out more about how has the price of gas changed throughout the years, Stacker ran the numbers on the cost of a gallon of gasoline for each of the last 84 years. Using data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (released in April 2020), we analyzed the average price for a gallon of unleaded regular gasoline from 1976 to 2020 along with the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for unleaded regular gasoline from 1937 to 1976, including the absolute and inflation-adjusted prices for each year.

Read on to explore the cost of gas over time and rediscover just how much a gallon was when you first started driving.

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