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Morehead residents concerned about higher gas prices compared to surrounding areas

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Posted at 7:00 PM, Sep 20, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-20 19:35:58-04

MOREHEAD, Ky. (LEX 18) — Today, AAA's calculations show that Rowan County's gas average is 50 cents higher than Kentucky’s average. One life-long Morehead resident, who preferred to stay anonymous, said she's noticed higher prices in this city before this summer's record spikes.

"It's been going on since before the inflation and it's like they don't want to lower their gas and I don't know what's in it that they think is special but we're going to Owingsville and Mount Sterling to get our gas and Salt Lick,” they said.

According to AAA, Kentucky’s state gas average right now is around $3.26. In Morehead the average is around $3.79 — and residents say that they would rather drive extra miles for cheaper gas.

The resident LEX 18 spoke with said, "We are — the long-term residents are just basically boycotting these gas stations. I know one guy says he's been boycotting it for about six months."

University of Kentucky’s Director for the Center of Business and Economic Research Dr. Michael Clark recaps the causes of this summer's gas spike.

"Increasing demand coming out of the pandemic and boycotting Russian oil are two things that really caused prices to increase,” said Dr. Clark.

Although Dr. Clark can't speak to why gas prices are higher in Morehead, he offers insight into the reasons gas prices could rise — including timing, competition, and proximity to refineries. The farther a refinery is in a region the more it can cost to distribute to communities.

"Those can cause temporary differences in the prices that we see across different regions — but those will generally not persist over a long period of time,” said Dr. Clark.

Right now, AAA shows the average cost per gallon in Morehead is $3.76. That's compared to $3.91 one month ago and $3.04 a year ago.

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Gas Buddy shows Morehead’s average at $3.79, compared to $3.30 in Lexington, $3.05 in mount sterling, and $3.37 in Owingsville.

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This 51-year-old resident says she'd use extra gas money for the medication that she relies on to get by. After daily calls to the attorney general's office about what she believes is price gouging, she says she feels unheard.