Fuel costs continue to soar
Fuel prices continued their assault on record books and pocketbooks this week, soaring to around $4.60 a gallon for regular unleaded gasoline at many county service stations.
A week earlier, over Memorial Day weekend, prices at the same stations had been as much as 66 cents lower.
With soybean planting and wheat harvest looming, diesel fuel also shot up this week, hitting nearly $5.70 a gallon for on-road fuel at one station and around $5.20 a gallon for off-road fuel at most stations.
A Record survey of county stations Tuesday morning found the highest prices at Flying Eagle truck stop, formerly Johnson’s General Store, in Florence.
Unleaded regular gas was selling there for $4.639 a gallon and on-road diesel was selling for $5.699.
The lowest prices were at Epp’s self-service station in Hillsboro, where gas was $4.339 and on-road diesel was $5.129.
At Casey’s General Store and Ampride in both Marion and Hillsboro, prices were $4.599 for gas, $5.199 for dyed diesel, and $5.299 for on-road diesel.
Prices were a bit lower elsewhere — $4.479 for gas at Dollar General in Hillsboro and $4.429 for gas, $4.659 for dyed diesel, and $5.159 for on-road diesel at Agri-Trails in Durham, Lincolnville, and Tampa.
Many Marion County prices were above statewide averages, according to reports submitted to the GasBuddy app, which monitors prices at 1,329 stations in Kansas.
Statewide, GasBuddy reported, gasoline was selling Tuesday for an average of $4.534 a gallon, up 34.2 cents from a week earlier, $1.684 from a year earlier. Gas prices in Kansas have more than doubled in the past two years, according to GasBuddy.
Among neighboring counties, prices were lowest in Harvey, the same in McPherson, Morris, and Chase, and slightly higher in Saline and Dickinson. Prices were higher still in Sedgwick, but the average there was slightly below what Ampride and Casey’s were charging in Marion County.
Nine states already have gas prices in excess of $5 a gallon, and GasBuddy’s lead petroleum analyst, Patrick De Haan, expects that barrier to be crossed in all states in short order.
He blames rising prices on reduced refining capacity related to the COVID-19 pandemic coupled with increased demand as people begin travels that had been postponed during the pandemic.