Gas prices hit low streak, could continue to dropBy Emily Beckett Published 5:11pm Wednesday, September 25, 2013
Motorists in Alabama and nationwide could be in for more good news at gasoline pumps this fall and winter.
Gasoline prices across the country have dropped consistently since the beginning of September, the end of the summer driving season, and they are expected to continue to fall as long as no emergencies occur.
“We haven’t seen a major hurricane strike this year, which has helped major refineries run smoothly,” AAA Public Relations Manager Michael Green said Wednesday. “Supplies are much higher than a year ago. We would expect to see gas prices continue to drop this fall, barring a major hurricane, increased tensions in the Middle East or a major refinery failure.”
In an article called “Gas Prices: AAA’s Fuel Gauge Report” released Sept. 23, AAA reported the national average price at the pump has fallen for 22 straight days, the longest streak in 2013.
Sept. 25 marked the 24th straight day the national average has fallen in the longest consecutive decline since November 2012.
The average price for regular unleaded gasoline on Sept. 23 was $3.47 per gallon, which was 5 cents less expensive than one week ago, 7 cents less than one month ago and 35 cents less than the same day last year, according to the article.
On July 18, American motorists faced this year’s largest year-over-year premium at the pump of an average of more than 26 cents per gallon, the article said, and two months later on Sept. 19, drivers enjoyed a more than 36-cent discount compared to the same date in 2012.
The average price for regular unleaded gasoline on Sept. 25 was $3.45 per gallon, the cheapest national average since Jan. 31, Green said.
“We’re seeing gas prices drop in Alabama and nationwide due to the end of the summer driving season, abundant gas supplies that are 10 percent higher than a year ago and a switchover to less expensive winter-blend gasoline,” Green said. “That means people are less likely to take a longer road trip, kids are back in school and the weather is cooling down.”
He added Alabama’s average has been down for nine consecutive days in September, with an average price of regular unleaded gasoline of $3.37 per gallon Sept. 1.
“Since the beginning of the month, prices have dropped 15 cents per gallon,” Green said. “Drivers are buying the cheapest gas this year, 36 cents per gallon cheaper than a year ago and six cents cheaper than 2011. I would not be surprised if many motorists are paying less than $3 per gallon by the end of the year.”
The average price of regular unleaded gasoline in the state Sept. 25 was $3.22 per gallon, 38 cents per gallon less than a year ago and nearly 10 cents a gallon cheaper than a month ago.
In Chilton County, gas prices mostly have reflected the statewide and nationwide drop since the beginning of September.
At Headco Truck Stop on Interstate 65 Exit 212 in Clanton, gas prices on Sept. 25 were $3.199 per gallon for 87 octane gas containing up to 10 percent ethanol; $3.579 per gallon, $3.699 per gallon and $3.899 per gallon for no-ethanol gas; and $3.85 for diesel.
“Gas prices came down 10 cents maybe about a week or so ago,” Headco manager Jan Vigliante said.
At Chevron on Lay Dam Road in Clanton, gas prices Sept. 25 were $3.199 for regular, $3.299 for mid grade and $3.399 for supreme.
Store owner Kabir Bhatti said his prices have fluctuated slightly every day lately.
“They go up one day and they go down one day,” Bhatti said.
Prices at Love’s Travel Stops on I-65 Exit 208 in Clanton on Sept. 25 were $3.169 for 87 octane, $3.269 for 89, $3.369 for 93 and $3.849 for diesel.
Prices at Jet Pep on I-65 Exit 205 in Clanton on Sept. 25 were $3.169 for regular and $3.799 for diesel.
The price for regular gas at Murphy USA at Walmart was $3.149 on Sept. 25.
Alabama was among the top 10 states with the least expensive average gas prices in the country, according to the article.
Joining Alabama were South Carolina, Mississippi, Missouri, Virginia, Texas, Tennessee, Arkansas, Louisiana and Georgia.
“We often see gas prices in Alabama among the cheapest in the country due to the proximity of major refineries along the Gulf Coast and due to cheaper gas taxes than many other states,” Green said.
The top 10 most expensive average gas prices listed in the article were Hawaii, California, Alaska, Connecticut, New York, Washington, Idaho, Oregon, Vermont and Rhode Island.
Higher gas prices in some Western states recently were caused by refinery issues in California, which sent retail prices higher amid concerns surrounding the impact of regional supply, the article said.
Drivers in every state and Washington, D.C., are paying less for gasoline than one year ago.