BOARDMAN, Ohio (WKBN) – Gas prices seemed to increase within a matter of days. Just a week ago, we saw prices under $3.40 a gallon.
Over the past few days, some stations had prices near $3.80 a gallon.
Where did this increase come from?
WKBN talked to AAA East Central Director of Public Affairs Jim Garrity. He said gas prices in Ohio are 10 to 15 cents higher than this time last month. However, he said this is normal in Ohio compared to other states.
One factor causing this is a Toledo oil refinery that caught fire earlier this month. Other factors are corporate-owned gas stations throughout the state.
“The prices in Ohio go up and down every week somewhat dramatically, and then in the neighboring states, you don’t see that as much because you see more kind of local gasoline station ownership, that kind of corporate ownership, and the competition there for those gasoline prices, that’s one of the factors you see at play,” said Garrity.
Gas prices are still above pre-pandemic averages. But nationally, they’ve dropped over the last month.
Oil prices are also dropping. According to AAA, this could help gas prices fall a few cents.
Fall just started last week, which does play a role in changing gas prices.
Garrity said demand for gas drops significantly this time of year. With people going back to work and kids back in school, travel is less of a priority. He also said gas stations are now switching to a winter blend of gasoline.
“It was impacting a part of the country where you tend to find a lot of refineries. Because of that storm, we’re monitoring that, of course, because that situation is you know, obviously it’s up in the air, it’s fluid. but that’s why you’re seeing kind of a difference in prices in Ohio,” said Garrity.
On top of that, it’s hurricane season. Garrity says Hurricane Ian may have a near-term impact on gas prices.
Garrity said Florida fuel terminals were shut down this week, which typically impacts gasoline supply.
He says we don’t feel too much of an impact from that in Ohio. But Hurricane Ian could cause gas prices to rise slightly. How much and when that could happen is unknown.