It’s Hard to Keep Up with Wild Gas Price Swings Between Two Kentucky Cities, Barely a Half-Hour Apart
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.