Energy & Environment

Average US gas price falls below $4 per gallon

FILE – A motorist fills up the tank on a sedan, July 22, 2022, in Saratoga, Wyo. The average U.S. price of regular-grade gasoline plunged 32 cents over the past two weeks to $4.54 per gallon. Industry analyst Trilby Lundberg of the Lundberg Survey says Sunday, July 24, 2022 that the continued decline comes as crude oil costs also fall. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski, file)

The average national price of gasoline fell below $4 per gallon on Thursday for the first time since March, according to AAA

Prices averaged $3.99 on Thursday, AAA said.

The drop represents a dip of more than $1 since prices peaked in June at about $5.02.

Experts say they expect gasoline prices to continue to fall. 

Andrew Lipow, president of Lipow Oil Associates, told The Hill that he expects an additional decline of about 5 cents per gallon in the coming weeks and a further drop of about 15 cents per gallon after mid-September, when refiners are able to sell lower-cost winter gasoline. 

Lipow noted that prices have been on the decline as the high prices caused people to drive less in the U.S. and around the world. 

“The consumer has changed their buying habits and reduced consumption of gasoline as they’ve combined local errands,” Lipow said, adding that they have also taken shorter driving trips for vacation. 

“Worldwide, the rising costs of energy have caused demand destruction that has pressured oil prices as well,” he said. “Especially in Southeast Asia and countries like Pakistan, Bangladesh or Sri Lanka where they simply don’t have the money to pay for higher energy [costs].”

Lipow also noted that markets have stabilized after Russia, which is facing embargoes from many Western economies over its invasion of Ukraine, was able to find new buyers for its oil from countries like China, India and Turkey.

“Now that some time has elapsed, you’re seeing increases in Russian production as they’ve found new customers,” he said. 

Earlier this week, AAA also cited a drop in oil prices due to fears of economic slowdown as another factor in the falling prices.

While presidents typically have little control gasoline prices, especially since oil is traded globally, lowered prices are likely to give the President Biden and the Democrats at least some political reprieve. 

Republicans for moths have hammered the White House over the price increases, even though analysts have long pointed to global factors as the causes of their rise and subsequent fall. 

Meanwhile, the White House touted the lowered national average on Thursday, tweeting, “Big news: The average national gas price has dropped below $4 per gallon. With over a dollar drop in just 58 days, this is the fastest decline in gas prices in over a decade.”

Another gas price tracker, GasBuddy, previously reported that gasoline prices had fallen below the $4 mark earlier this week

Patrick De Haan, GasBuddy’s head of petroleum analysis, predicted in a video accompanying that Tuesday announcement that prices could fall between an additional 10 and 25 cents per gallon in the coming weeks.

Updated at 1:40 p.m.

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