"If everybody would all stay the same all over town, people could go wherever they want, not just where its the cheapest," Lyons said. "I have to pay what (the supplier) says."
Lyons said he knows consumers talk on the phone and let friends and family know where the cheapest place is to buy gas, which he said may be in Junction City. Chills cashier Frances Raider used to work at Shell in Junction City. She said people would drive from surrounding towns to fill up there. When she worked at Shell, there was about a 20-cent difference between Junction City gas prices and surrounding gas stations.
Pioneer Shell cashier on Stanford Road, April Smally, said she often gets customers who compare that Shell's gas prices to out-of-town prices. She said they tell her they can drive 10 miles in pretty much any direction and get gas cheaper.
"There's nothing I can do," she said "I'm just a cashier."
As a consumer, Smally said she doesn't really think about it. She said she knows she has to do what she has to do to get herself and her kids around. It's been a little harder on Raider. "It's hard - stay at home more," she said. "I just wish they would lower it so people could afford it."
Simon Norris of Lancaster wishes the same. "Gas prices are ridiculous," he said. "I got to go to work, though."
Other than work, he said he has cut back on gas expenses. "Places I used to go, I don't go anymore," he said.
"When demand goes up, prices go up as well"
Ann Belcher, public relations coordinator with AAA Blue Grass Kentucky, said it's too difficult to speculate whether a gas-price relief is in sight. "When demand goes up, prices go up as well," she said. "When they up the cost of crude oil, it causes prices at the pump to go up."
The reason for upping crude oil costs may not stem from issues in Kentucky, but the state will continue to feel the effects as long as these issues are going on in the rest of the world.
"We're currently in hurricane season, and that makes people a little jumpy," Belcher said.
Hurricane season started in the Atlantic June 1 and will last until Nov. 30. Belcher said traders are anticipating a very busy hurricane season. Belcher also said there have been recent refinery problems in Philadelphia and Texas that caused them to shut down production for a while. A shipping problem on a Mississippi River channel could have effected gas prices in the state as well.
Any issues that affect wholesale gas prices, and traders, will trickle down and affect prices at the pump, she said.
World political events aren't helping local gas prices, either. "The North Korea missile launch doesn't directly affect it, but it makes people nervous," Belcher said.
The Iran nuclear proposal and the Mexico presidential election makes people worry as well, she said. "We do get quite a bit of crude oil from Mexico."
There is the issue of neck and neck supply and demand that cause prices to go up pretty quickly, Belcher said. But, affecting the costs more locally is the time of year.
"Prices are higher in the summer," Belcher said. "People tend to travel more. Generally, the market will charge what people will bear."
Gas prices hit the $2.90s late last year, but currently they are the highest they have been this year. As of 7 a.m. Friday, northern Kentucky averages were $2.92, central Kentucky prices were averaging $2.91, the eastern part of state was around $2.88, and the Louisville area was $3.01. The national average is $2.94.
The national record for high gas prices was in September 2005 at $3.05.
Belcher said even in one city, it's not uncommon for gas prices to vary. She said in Lexington the prices ranged from $2.86 to $2.99 at different gas stations. That can be caused by contracts locked in by various dealers. Also, prices can vary among certain areas of town with high delivery routes or stations in more isolated areas.
The price for a barrel of crude oil seems to constantly fluctuate as well. Belcher said Thursday the cost for a barrel closed at $75.14. As of 2:13 p.m. Friday, it was down to $74 a barrel. But in June, she said, it was in the $69 range.