In Oct. 16-22 IssueBy Derek AaronTimes Journal Reporter
Following a second week of falling prices, regular unleaded gasoline in Russell County is as low as $3.05 a gallon at some stations, but prices in this county still remain higher than in many Kentucky counties.
The $3.05 is still below what the American Automobile Association reported the average price of gas in the state as being earlier this week.
Reports from such cities as Lexington, Frankfort, Danville, Lebanon, Mt. Vernon and Hustonville have gasoline prices at or below the $2.83 mark, some even as low as $2.65.
Prices in Louisville and in Bowling Green have been reported around the $2.96 mark.
Neighboring Wayne County has gas prices as low as $3.07 in Monticello as of Monday morning while Somerset, in Pulaski County, has its lowest prices around the $3.09 mark. Eyewitness reports suggest gas is also cheaper in Columbia and Liberty as well.
When reached for comment this week, Shelley Catherine Johnson, deputy communications director for Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway, said the attorney general's office was aware of the gas price situation in this area.
Conway's office has a gas price complaint hotline that can be reached at 1-888-432-9257 and consumers can also e-mail complaints of price gouging to email@example.com
"We've had a number of complaints from the Lake Cumberland area," she said. Johnson said that on Oct. 9 her office received more than 100 complaints from the Somerset-Pulaski County area but wasn't sure how many calls the AG's office had received from Russell County citizens.
"To date, we have not filed any price gouging charges against (suppliers in the Lake Cumberland area) but we are still in the investigative stage," Johnson said. "There is not a whole lot to say on the matter just yet."
She said if any charges were filed they would be made public via an announcement from the attorney general's office. Johnson said all complaint calls were being handled in the highest regard in Frankfort.
Many of Russell County's stations receive their fuel from a Somerset based supplier, which could indicate why prices here and in Pulaski County tend to be higher than most other surrounding communities.
Kentucky does has a gas price gouging law that can be put into effect during times of emergency.
Early last month Gov. Steve Beshear declared an emergency after Hurricane Ike brought damaging winds to much of the state and gas prices skyrocketed toward the $4 mark.
The declaration is still in effect and allows Beshear and Attorney General Jack Conway to investigate and prosecute fuel companies whose gas prices are found to be extremely excessive.
The national average for a gallon of gasoline has dropped more than 35 cents the past two weeks in what some analysts are calling the biggest price drop ever for fuel.