Gas Prices Continue to Fall

GasPrices_9.4

The good news on gas prices is that AAA expects pump prices to continue to fall now that the summer driving season is in the rearview mirror.

The bad news: Gas prices during the summer were the fourth highest on record.

Related: What's the Most Affordable Car in 2014?

The national average for regular unleaded was $3.43 Thursday, according to the AAA Daily Fuel Gauge Report. That is down only fractions of a penny from a week ago but 7 cents lower than a month ago and 16 cents less than on Sept. 4, 2013.

AAA expects prices nationally could decline another 10-20 cents per gallon by the end of October because gasoline demand generally falls after Labor Day and refineries can produce less-expensive winter-blend gasoline.

"The big crunch in summer travel is done, and most of us can look forward to lower gas prices during the next few months," AAA spokesman Avery Ash said in a release. "If we can get through September without any major refinery or overseas problems, we should see more gas stations drop below $3.00 per gallon this fall."

Refineries in many regions are required to produce more expensive summer-blend gasoline during warm-weather months to reduce air pollution and smog. Refineries switch to winter blends by Sept. 15, and AAA said in the days leading up to that switch supplies of summer-blend gasoline occasionally can tighten and lead to short-term, localized price increases.

The price of gas in September has declined four out of the five previous years for an average of 8 cents per gallon. Last year, national average gas prices fell by 19 cents per gallon in September.

The exception was in 2012, AAA said in its monthly gas price report. That was when Hurricane Isaac struck Louisiana, briefly closing refineries and causing the national average gas price to rise 11 cents per gallon over nine days. The Atlantic hurricane season peaks around Sept. 10.

The national average for regular unleaded over the summer driving season was $3.58 per gallon, tying with 2013 for the fourth most expensive on record. Average prices for the summer driving season were $3.55 in 2012, $3.65 in 2011, $2.73 in 2010, $2.59 in 2009 and $3.95 in 2008.

In spite of the relatively high prices during the past summer, the average price for regular unleaded is at its lowest in more than six months and the lowest at this time of year since 2010.

South Carolina continued to boast the lowest statewide average for regular unleaded at $3.17 per gallon. Mississippi and Virginia were close behind at $3.18, followed by Alabama at $3.20.

The most expensive gas was in Hawaii, with a statewide average of $4.28. Alaska, at $4.02, was the only other state averaging more than $4. Oregon and Washington were next highest at $3.87, followed by California at $3.84.

The national average for diesel fuel was $3.80 Thursday, 3 cents lower than a month ago and 14 cents less than a year ago.

Minerva Studio/iStock/Thinkstock

By Rick Popely | September 5, 2014 | Comments (4)

Comments 

Tony

And of course, nobody thinks that falling gas prices is result of manipulations designed to lower price of oil to hurt Russia in context of Ukrainian problem.

George

The only 'problem' is the West illegally overthrew the government of Ukraine.
Crimea was not bound to be connected to this putsch. They held a vote as to be independent. ~97% or so positive. And also on the referendum to join Russia, 94%+
Russia said yes, to the request of Crimea joining them.
Other, formerly Russian regions, do not want to be part of the EU/US/NATO criminality of Kiev.
And Ukraine isn't even part of NATO.

So, the idea of manipulating oil prices 'to hurt' Russia is laughable. Russia can just sell their products in China, and let Europe freeze this winter.

The real problem is that there are 105 million unemployed.
From 2007, the 'recovery' added 768,000 jobs, while 13,000,000 more people are now "not in labor force"

Hybrit

With the AAA predicting gasoline prices below $3 this fall, diesel fuel will once again be about 30 percent more expensive than regular unleaded.

Tony

George,

I mean, Zhora, why you go in such political thing? Write this to your representative. Write this to McCain, not here.
But I still think that oil prices are manipulated anyway, they have room there for bringing price down to hurt Russia. And for Russia to move oil to China, first they need to build the pipeline.

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