Gasoline price drop bigger than expected
Gas prices took a big drop in the last month, dipping below the $3 per gallon mark, according to a survey released Tuesday.
“It's a significant amount,” said Sean Comey, spokesman for AAA of Northern California. “We typically don't see prices drop so dramatically.”
In fact, the last time this big a price swing took place was after Hurricane Katrina - up instead of down.
AAA of Northern California's monthly gas price report showed that for consumers, prices went the right way during the past month.
In Marysville, a gallon of gas cost 25 cents less. At $2.78 a gallon, on average, Marysville is one of the cheapest places in California to buy gas. Only Tracy was less expensive, averaging a penny less per gallon.
The current average price in California is 8 cents less than a year ago.
While gas prices often drop after the summer driving season, this month's drop was far bigger than what is typical after Labor Day.
“We tend to see prices drop at the end of summer because people are driving less,” said Comey. “But this is a much bigger decrease than you would expect.”
While declining gas consumption is part of what is behind the price drop, there has also been an easing of “scare factors” that drove gas prices up sharply: Alaska pipeline problems, conflict between Israel and Hezbollah that spilled over into Lebanon and the upcoming hurricane season.
But problems are not going away forever, noted Comey. He said prices could go down in the short run. But things could change quickly.
“It would be nice to say the problems are over, the prices are going to go down, but that's not the case,” said Comey.
Y-S FILL-UPS COSTING LESS
AAA of Northern California Gas Price Survey
Appeal-Democrat reporter John Dickey can be reached at 749-4711. You may e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.