(WASHINGTON) — Gas prices are the lowest they’ve been all year. The Energy Department says nationwide, on average we’re paying 10 cents less for a gallon of regular unleaded than we were a week ago.
Oil Price Information Service Analyst Tom Kloza says he expects the price to drop even lower this week. “They’ve come down because demand is actually down substantially,” he explains. “It’s beyond what one might expect in terms of the change of seasons. It’s almost though people are driving a little bit less this Christmas season than before.”
Kloza warns if the U.S. goes over the fiscal cliff, gas prices will really drop. He says that could send unemployment higher and discourage growth.
“That’s not necessarily a good thing because it may depress prices because it might send unemployment higher and lead to no growth, so I think you’re going to see lower prices and they could be sharply lower but that’s probably not something to root for right now,” he says.
“We learned in 2008 and 2009 that oil prices can drop very, very quickly when there’s economic distress.”
Only weeks ago, Californians were paying close to $5.00 a gallon in some areas. Now they’re paying around $3.53 a gallon. In New York, drivers are paying the most at $3.72. The lowest prices are in towns along the Gulf where some areas are hovering right around $3.00 a gallon.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Sam Turner, Deseret News
Jethro Mullen Ivana Kottasova and Patrick Gillespie, CNN