After years of complaints and calls for investigations from consumers, Kentucky's fluctuating gas prices are now being investigated in Washington. The Federal Trade Commission is looking into the state's single supply of gasoline, a monopoly by Marathon Oil.
Spokeswoman Alison Martin says Attorney General Jack Conway and Governor Beshear had a study done on the impact of artificially high prices on Kentucky consumers and have turned its data over to the FTC. The Commission originally declined to look into the situation but that changed with the appointment of a new chair, Edith Ramirez, earlier this year.
Martin says despite public outcry the last several years, the state's regular sudden price hikes don't qualify as actual "price gouging" that could be acted on during a statewide emergency.
The cost of gasoline is having an impact on the lives of people across the state and nation, but experts say it can be very hard to determine why prices seem to fluctuate so quickly. Dr. Brian Goff is an economist with WKU's Center for Applied Economics. He says many consumers are unaware of the influence inventories can have on the price at the pump.
Second District Congressman Brett Guthrie of Kentucky says he's heard plenty of constituents expressing concern about higher gasoline prices in recent days. The Republican from Bowling Green says the higher prices at the pump are difficult for consumers to accept in an already troubled economy.
Industry Analyst Gregg Laskoski of GasBuddy.com says there are many uncertainties in the market place this year, but he believes median gasoline prices could reach or exceed four dollars per gallon by Memorial Day in many parts of the country. A new report released by GasBuddy.com warns that the retail price of gasoline at the start of 2012 was signicantly higher than just two years ago. Laskoski calls that an "ominous sign" for the rest of 2012. He spoke with Dan Modlin...........