In some respects, the rising price of gasoline is simple economics, the law of supply and demand.

The supply was already tight as a result of the war in Ukraine, and then along came OPEC and its allies to tighten the market even further, cutting oil production by 2 million barrels a day. The price of oil nosed above $90 a barrel for the first time in several weeks.

At the same time, the nationwide demand for gasoline is going up.

On Monday, the average gas price nationally was $3.919, according to AAA. The organization says that’s up 19 cents from a month ago and up 65 cents from a year ago.

IN INDIANA, the average price was $4.199, 28 cents above the national average.

Among its neighboring states, Indiana falls in the middle. Illinois had the most expensive gas at $4.404. Kentucky had the cheapest at $3.521. AAA put the average price of a gallon of gas in Ohio at $3.922. In Michigan, it was $4.353.

If you want cheap gas, try Texas, which had an average price Monday of $3.269. The most expensive gas was in California with an average of $6.330.

Prices vary significantly, though, even within the state of Indiana.

The cheapest gas in the state Monday was in Warrick County, with an average price of $3.517, according to AAA. The most expensive was in Jasper County at $4.582.

So why do the prices vary so much?

SOME OF IT SEEMS to be geography. The state’s lowest gas prices are congregated along the Ohio River in Southern Indiana. Its highest seem to be in northwest Indiana on the outskirts of Chicago.

Still, there are anomalies. Right next door to the high gas prices of Jasper County lies Newton County, with an average price of $4.101. That works out to a savings of almost 50 cents a gallon just by crossing the county line.

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, gasoline prices vary for lots of reasons.

“Events that slow or stop gasoline production can prompt increased bidding for available gasoline supplies,” the agency says on its website. “Pipeline disruptions, planned or unplanned refinery maintenance, or refinery shutdowns — such as those that occur when hurricanes hit the United States — may cause increases in gasoline prices. If the gasoline transportation system cannot support the flow of surplus supplies from one region to another, prices will remain relatively high.”

And then, of course, there’s competition. How competitive is your local market?

“Gasoline station pump prices are often highest in locations with fewer gasoline stations,” the agency said. “Even stations located close together may have different traffic patterns, rent and sources of supply that influence pricing.”

So, if you want to save money on gas, shop around. Check the prices online using GasBuddy or AAA and plan your fill-ups accordingly.

You might find you don’t have to leave the state to find cheaper gas. Sometimes, all you have to do is drive a few blocks.

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