FTC could investigate Kentucky's high gas prices soon

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - Many central Kentucky drivers are feeling some pain at the pump. Gas prices are close to $4 per gallon in some cases.

But just to our south in Tennessee, drivers are filling up for less than $3.50 per gallon. Now, Kentucky's higher gas prices could be getting the attention of federal investigators.

It adds up, and it's been adding up fast in Lexington, especially in the last 24 hours. And gas prices here compared to surrounding areas just don't add up.

"Somewhere around London, north of London, it goes from $3.49 and in one exit it's $3.79 everywhere and then here it's $3.89," said Jessica Schulkers, a woman driving through Lexington.

And the same goes for across the country.

"So what are we now? Close to $4 a gallon, so this is the highest we've seen in probably six or seven states," said Mike Jorgensen, a biker traveling cross country.

It's been a few years since Kentuckians have seen prices more than $4 a gallon, and this price hike came pretty quick.

"It's just insane where yesterday it was $3.79, and it jumped up to $3.99," said Andrew Rediford, a man living in Lexington.

So are the prices for gas in the Bluegrass fair? The attorney general's office launched an investigation into gouging years ago, and they are picking it back up, urging the Federal Trade Commission to take another look. An investigation found Marathon to be the main reason for the pricey gas because it's the area's only supplier.

"It doesn't matter if you're at Chevron. It doesn't matter if you're at Thorntons or Shell or Speedway. It is all Marathon Oil," said Allison Martin, a spokesperson for the attorney general's office.

If the FTC chooses to act, then it could break up Marathon's dominance in Kentucky.

The attorney general's office believes the FTC will decide fairly soon whether to launch its own investigation.

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