Gas prices continuing to drop
If you're still planning to squeeze in a summer vacation, a road trip might be in order, with gas prices falling quickly across the country. The price of unleaded regular gasoline dropped below $2 per gallon in parts of Minnesota early this week,...
If you're still planning to squeeze in a summer vacation, a road trip might be in order, with gas prices falling quickly across the country.
The price of unleaded regular gasoline dropped below $2 per gallon in parts of Minnesota early this week, with the cheapest gas at $1.99 per gallon in Rochester, according to minnesotagasprices.com.
The website reported the statewide average Tuesday sat at $2.46 per gallon. The U.S. average sat at $2.57 Tuesday, down from $3.47 last year at this time. It's the lowest national average gas price of this time of summer since 2009.
In Wadena, gas was selling for as little as $2.35 per gallon Tuesday.
Nationally, AAA reported this week that the national average gas price has dropped for nearly three weeks as the price of crude oil continues to plummet. International crude sat at about $49 per barrel Thursday, down $14 (nearly 22 percent), in less than a month. U.S. crude was at about $44 per barrel.
"It feels good to see gas prices drop during the middle of the busy summer driving season," said Avery Ash, AAA spokesman, in a statement. "Millions of people are hitting the roads right now and these gas savings should make their trips more affordable."
AAA expects gas prices to drop another 15 cents nationally in the short turn and fall below $2 in many more areas.
"The recent price declines are hopefully just a precursor of much bigger savings to come at the pump," Ash said. "We could see many parts of the country make another run towards $2 per gallon by the end of the year if everything keeps running smoothly."
Relatively cheap gas has spurred more driving, however, bucking an eight-year trend in the U.S. of driving less. Demand for gasoline went up 6 percent in July compared to last year, AAA noted, and the Federal Highway Administration said Americans drove 987.8 billion miles for the first four months of the year, topping the previous record, 965.5 billion, set in 2007. If that keeps happening it could offset lower oil prices and keep prices from dropping more at the gas pump.
Still, analysts are predicting continued low oil and gas prices into fall and winter, which should help people who heat with oil. The United States Energy Information Administration said earlier this year that the average U.S. family will save about $750 this year compared to last thanks to lower gas and oil prices.