CINCINNATI — Southwest Ohio drivers got another shot of bad news on Tuesday, as many stations around the Cincinnati area began raising their prices to $4.39, the highest price ever in the region, according to AAA.
At some stations, the jump was a bit more modest, to $4.29, but it was still a substantial hike from the $3.85 drivers had become accustomed to all spring, until late last week.
AAA reports this is happening the same time that national gas prices have surged to an all time high of $4.36, putting Cincinnati in the unusual situation of being above the national average.
Diesel fuel also hit an all time high of $5.52 nationally, creating more hardship for independent truckers, farmers, and anyone driving a diesel pickup.
What happened to the Strategic Petroleum Reserve?
Gas prices had briefly touched $4.30 in early March, until President Biden's release of millions of barrels of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserves brought them back down under $4 for a month or so.
But AAA says rising crude oil prices, combined with a surge in pre-summer driving, has been pressuring pump prices up the past two weeks. The release from the Reserves was not enough to counter the huge surge in springtime demand.
Also, a Biden administration decision to allow stations to sell ethanol-rich E-15 gas last month has not made any noticeable difference, as very few stations sell E-15.
Kentucky prices cheaper
If you live hear the Kentucky border, or frequently travel to the Bluegrass state, you will find prices slightly cheaper on the south side of the Ohio River.
Most stations there are moving up to $4.29, which is a record for Kentucky but about 10 cents cheaper than Ohio.
Gas prices typically peak for the year on Memorial Day weekend, so we could be looking at a few more weeks of pain until they possibly ease a bit.
But this year, anything is possible.
Click here for WCPO's interactive map of local gas prices.
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