At the BP on Eastern Avenue where I filled up the tank yesterday, regular unleaded was selling for $3.89 (or $3.90 if you add in that 9/10s of a cent) a gallon.
How funny is it that I was actually excited about that?
AAA says that for the first time since June 7, the national average price of gasoline dropped below $4 a gallon on Saturday to $3.98, which is down 13 cents from the all-time record of $4.11.
Yesterday, the national average dropped another penny to $3.97.
You can thank the falling price of crude oil for the declining prices at the pump and Hurricane Dolly for not wreaking havoc in the Gulf of Mexico, which provides 25 percent of U.S. oil output.,/p>
Crude oil began the week trading at $129 a barrel before closing at $123 Friday, AAA says. That's $24 below the all-time high prices of $147 a barrel set on July 11. Even after the decline of the past two weeks, the price of oil is up 30% in 2008.
The interesting thing about this is that the U.S. Energy Department says that Americans used 2.4 percent less fuel over the past four weeks than we did a year ago. Experts say that's a significant shift in use, especially since the same energy department report says that U.S. gasoline supplies showed a bigger than expected increase.
Does that really mean we're all cutting back on driving?
In the week ahead, AAA expects the price of gas to continue to drop due to lower crude oil prices and declining demand for petroleum products in the U.S. How low do you think they'll go? AAA's Ragina Averella, manager of public and government affairs for the Mid-Atlantic, says that the "price of gas will continue to fall through Labor Day, and could drop an additional 25-cents a gallon by September 1st. This is certainly welcome news for motorists."
Unless, of course, storm season hits the U.S. particularly hard this year.... Keep your fingers crossed.