Speculation has it that $4 gas is just around the corner, and a 20 cent per gallon hike in local prices in recent days certainly seems to point in that direction.
Even with that increase, however, Great Bend is still on the low end of statewide prices, according to a search of gas prices on an Internet site.
The “low” price in Kansas on Wednesday was $2.72 in Topeka, followed by $2.74 in parts of Wichita; $2.75 in Larned, parts of Topeka and in Great Bend stations that hadn’t hiked yet.
The local jump to $2.86 per gallon, while it showed an increase of 20 cents per gallon in just over a week, still put Great Bend in the middle of the state costs.
Higher prices around the state Wednesday included $2.90 in Ulysses and Hoisington; $2.92 in Eureka; $2.94 in McPherson; $2.95 in Ellsworth and Paola; and $2.99 in Cherryvale, Parsons and Iola.
The average price in Kansas, as of Wednesday, was $2.84, compared to an average price of $2.71 a month ago, and $2.55 a year ago.
Still, Kansas looks good compared to the nation. The national average price Wednesday was $2.96, up significantly from $2.63 a year ago.
Of course, the volatile price of gasoline has been right at the $4 point before.
Looking at Kansas prices over the past several years shows prices that began the ride in early 2005 around $1.75 before rising to over $3 in 2007.
Prices stayed in that range into 2008, hitting a high, just under $4 that summer.
Then, before the end of the year, gasoline dropped to $1.49 for a brief period before regaining more than 50 cents per gallon, and through much of 2009 and throughout 2010, the price has ranged around $2.50 up to today’s high.
The prices are reported on Kansas Gas Prices, which is operated by Gas Buddy Organization, that was developed as a way for the public to report changes in gas prices around the nation.
The Kansas prices are available at www.kansasgasprices.com