Cincinnati-area drivers were hit with sticker shock at the pumps on Friday, as the price of regular gasoline jumped to $2.89 at stations across the region, a three-year high.
Speedway led the way with the price hike late Thursday, and by Friday morning most UDF, Kroger, BP and Shell stations had followed.
According to GasBuddy.com, the last time prices were at $2.89 a gallon was July 2015. They last hit $3 a gallon in southern Ohio in August 2014, almost four years ago.
Reasons for the spike
But don't blame your local station manager: AAA and GasBuddy blame soaring crude oil prices, which recently hit $70 a barrel.
Oil prices were as low as $30 a barrel two years ago, when were seeing $1.99 prices at the pump.
But increased springtime driving, coupled with higher crude, is causing gas prices to spike across the US. Crude is up due to OPEC and Russia production cuts since last year (to keep prices high), coupled with the US now exporting surplus oil for the first time in decades.
Prices are up 30 cents over last year at this time.
Analysts say we could soon see prices over $3 at the pump, as prices usually peak each year around Memorial Day weekend.
Kentucky drivers to get a 10-cent break
The one good piece of news in the Cincinnati area is that Kentucky drivers (or anyone who fills up in Kentucky) will soon see a 10 cent per gallon savings.
Kentucky drivers have paid more since 1996, due a special, more expensive reformulated fuel used in the Bluegrass State to fight air pollution. Burt Kentucky lawmakers, and the US EPA, are now dropping that requirement, due to improved air quality.
So starting July 1, 2018, Kentucky gas stations will be able to pump the same fuel as Ohio and Indiana, which should drop prices about a dime a gallon.
As always, don't waste your money.
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