Consumers nationwide are experiencing an approximate 30 cent drop at the gas pump. Gas prices have been dropping drastically over the last month-just in time for the holiday season.
The nationwide average gas price Sunday was $2.12 a gallon for regular grade; the same grade of gas averaged at $1.92 a year ago.
Florida’s average is slightly above the national average at $2.20, while Tallahassee’s average is slightly below the national average at $2.09.
The current price at the pump is a dramatic difference from the post hurricane Katrina prices that was at a national average of $3.05. hurricane Katrina destroyed several oil refineries, some of which are still not operating, which is part of the reason for the current gas prices.
According to George Laskoski, the Florida Public and Government relations manager for AAA, prices at the pump are dropping because “crude oil has come down significantly,” decreasing 40 cents from a few months ago.
Consumers should enjoy the low prices now because gas prices will begin to rise, as the weather gets colder.
“Cold weather is going to drive prices higher nationwide, even in the south,” Laskoski said. People in the northeast will be hit the hardest because they have a bigger demand for heating, and when the demand goes up so will the price.
Tallahassee’s gas fluctuation over the past months is directly related to the destroyed oil refineries in the gulf coast. When Katrina first hit, gas prices hiked up due to the damaged refineries, but now most of the refineries are operating.
“Facilities are not fully at the level they were at,” Laskoski said, citing that many refineries are recovering from hurricane Rita as well as Katrina.
The theory that gas station owners are gouging or even making a profit is false in some instances.
George Unglaub, downtown Tallahassee BP owner, said that he is currently not making a profit from gas sales, citing that is losing money because he has to pay three percent on every credit card transaction.
Many Tallahassee students are glad that gas prices are lower than the national average. Students have been avoiding high gas prices for the past few months by carpooling to school, work and back home for the holidays.
William Crapps, 19, started carpooling with his roommate to school and back.
“I drove one day and he drove the other day,” said the sophomore accounting student.
Crapps, who is from Daytona Beach, rode home with someone else for Thanksgiving, but is going to drive home alone for Christmas because gas prices went down.
Tiffany Council, who is from Atlanta, had three people ride home and split the cost with her for the Thanksgiving break.
When gas prices were extremely high, Council, 19, a sophomore pharmacy student, said she had to pay $32 to fill her car up.
“I used to travel a lot, but now I can’t,” Council said.
She said when gas prices were high: “the only places I could go were to school, home and an occasional mall. I have to charge people for rides and I didn’t use to do that.”
Now that gas prices have dropped and it only takes $25 to fill her tank, she said she will probably resume the traveling she used to do before she stopped when prices were high.
For more information about local, state and national gas prices, go to http://www.aaa.com or www.fuelgaugereport.com.
The website also has tips on what people can do to conserve gas.
Contact Kristin Taylor at firstname.lastname@example.org