CINCINNATI — It's hard to believe, but gas prices are up another 30 cents in the Cincinnati area, and nationwide this week, and are getting close to $5 a gallon.
Southwest Ohio gas prices surged to a new record to $4.79 on Wednesday, with Kentucky prices about 10 cents less.
Drivers like Cam Ray, filling up at a BP in Norwood, say they're starting to cut back on their driving just so keep those gas bills down.
"I'm definitely driving less. If it's not needed, I'm not driving," Ray told us. "To the store, and to work, that's about it!"
How much higher will prices go?
It all leaves drivers wondering when it will end.
Is this the peak for pump prices this year? Or could we go even higher, over $5 in the next few weeks?
Analyst Patrick DeHaan at GasBuddy.com says wholesale gas prices are climbing, due to increased summer demand and new European sanctions against Russian oil, which has sent the price of crude up again.
"Keep in mind with supplies very tight and oil prices very high we're coming into a very charged atmosphere," DeHaan said. "And I'm not just referring to hurricane season which is likely to be above average."
DeHaan warns that severe summer storms in Texas and the Gulf of Mexico can shut down refineries, hurt supplies, and drive prices up in a normal year.
A Gulf hurricane, he says, would have an even bigger impact this year.
"If there is a summer, I dare say from hell, when it comes to gas prices, this could be it," he said.
Unless tensions with Russia ease, DeHaan worries that we could soon see $5+ gasoline everywhere.
It is already over $5 in New York and Chicago, and over $6 in many parts of California.
One temporary solution: there's a growing push in statehouses to suspend state gas taxes for the summer --as Georgia has done -- but lawmakers in Ohio and Indiana have yet to pass any tax relief at the gas pump, while Kentucky has only frozen a planned increase to the gas tax.
See the lowest Tri-State area gas prices at our interactive map.
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