gas prices


The Associated Press reports that gasoline prices are expected to stay relatively low this summer:

The Energy Information Administration on Tuesday projected regular-grade gasoline to average $2.23 a gallon during the April-through-September driving season. The monthly average is likely to peak at $2.30 a gallon. That’s still a bargain compared to last summer, when gasoline cost an average of $3.81 a gallon and soared for a time past $4.

If gas consistently costs at least $1.50 less than it did last summer, I won’t complain too loudly about prices at the pump.

Gas prices have been under $2 a gallon around here for about two weeks, but tonight CNN reported that the average gas price nationwide is now below the $2 mark for the first time since March 2005. The average U.S. gas price per gallon dropped almost 33 cents in the past two weeks.

I filled up my gas tank this morning in Ottawa for $1.659 per gallon and, by comparison, saw fuel selling for 20 cents more per gallon in Rockford later in the day.

According to the Lundberg Survey, which checked fuel prices at more than 5,000 gas stations across the nation, the lowest average cost for a gallon of gas in a big city is $1.61 in St. Louis. The most expensive is $2.81 in Anchorage and Honolulu. Some other average prices mentioned by CNN were $1.76 in Detroit, $1.88 in Atlanta, $2.01 in Boston, $2.10 in Chicago and $2.22 in Los Angeles.

The peak national average gas price was $4.11 in July, which means the cost of gas is down 52 percent from what it was four months ago. I remember when gas cost just 99 cents a gallon in the Chicago suburbs during the summer of 1998. I doubt today’s plummeting gas prices will drop below $1 a gallon, but it sure would be a welcome sight to see that again.

Last night I was excited to find gas for less than $2 a gallon in Streator. Tonight it could be bought for $1.959 a gallon at some Streator gas stations, $2.029 a gallon in Grand Ridge and $2.049 a gallon at some stations in Ottawa. It’s hard to believe that just three months ago, the price for a gallon of 87-octane gas was $3.899 – almost two dollars more than it is now. This may be the only positive result of the bad economy.