Governor calls for fact-finding mission into high gas prices
You're paying more for gas in Louisville than anywhere else in the state. Now state leaders want to know why. The governor thinks people in Louisville are being taken at the pumps.
Gas in downtown Louisville runs about $4.29 a gallon for regular unleaded. That's more than the rest of the state, and close to what people pay in Chicago. Governor Steve Beshear says that's too much. He's now called for a fact-finding mission to find out why.
Just what is it? What is it that has Louisvillians feeling the pain at the pump?
"I don't know. I wouldn't know," said driver Katie Lukins.
On average, gas in Jefferson County runs anywhere from 10 to 25 cents a gallon higher than surrounding areas. Gov. Steve Beshear along with Mayor Jerry Abramson have called for a fact-finding mission to uncover what has caused the local increase.
"We want to find out what is going on, we want to get to the bottom of it because the citizens of Jefferson County deserve to get gas as cheap as anyone else can get it," said Gov. Beshear.
Gasoline is a good that has inelastic demand. As long as we have the need to get from one place to another, the need for fuel will exist.
Beshear says there is no question the increase is hardship for everyone.
"My thoughts: it's not right. I come from a small town, Danville, and the prices are about $4.03 right now," said Lukins.
Last year, it cost Bobby Hatton $35 to fill up, and this year, $45; A move that has forced him to often re-fuel outside of Jefferson County.
"I think it's probably going to be the same until we get another president," said driver Bobby Hatton
You don't have to drive very far, and by far means one county away, to find cheaper gas. The governor says he doesn't buy that the reformulated gas is the reason for the cost increase in Jefferson County.
"It's always been said well because you've got reformulated gasoline and that costs more. Well the experts tell us that that adds five to eight cents to the cost per gallon of gasoline. Well that doesn't nearly make up the difference," said Gov. Beshear.
Beshear has called on Attorney General Jack Conway to investigate; to find out from fuel distributors what causes the increase.
"We don't know what we will find. I am hoping the answer is and the result is that gas becomes cheaper in Jefferson County," said Gov. Beshear.
Beshear said reformulated gas in Northern Kentucky is 18 cents cheaper. It's uncertain if Kentucky's price gouging law will apply in this case. Normally, it applies to a price increase during a state of emergency.
Former Gov. Ernie Fletcher declared one following the price increases after Hurricane Katrina.