Gas prices jump throughout Lexington

The price of gasoline jumped about 20 cents a gallon across Lexington late Tuesday.

The spike comes as the price of crude oil, the most expensive component of gasoline, continues to rebound from recent lows.

But without a major spike in the price of oil on Tuesday, some people wonder why gasoline prices jumped so high and often follow that pattern in Lexington.

There could be other forces at work, possibly explained by the research of an Ohio State University economics professor who has studied cities including Lexington over parts of this area and the Midwest.

Matt Lewis has told the Herald-Leader in the past that in recent years, he has found that service stations in these cities tend to undercut one another's prices until they're selling gas for less than their wholesale costs. And then comes the large increase — 20 cents a gallon Tuesday — to get things back to normal.

Indeed, the average price nationally as of Tuesday had been $2.11, according to AAA, more than the $2.047 that Lexington stations had averaged.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration has predicted that the average price for regular unleaded from April to September will be $2.23. That would be down almost $1.60 from last summer.