For a seemingly endless period of time, every day brought a new record high gas price.
According to CNN, prices hit their peak last July when the national average maxed at $4.11 per gallon for unleaded gasoline.
Then, it seemed that the public was receiving word everyday that there was yet another aggravating all-time record high for gas prices.
Yet over the past few weeks, another record was set, this time a more endearing one.
Gas prices have dropped by an average of 48 cents in the last two weeks—the largest drop in history.
The Inland Empire holds a $2.54 average price per gallon for unleaded, the cheapest in Southern California, which has even dropped nine cents since last week.
This is the first time gas prices have dropped below $3 in, well… can anyone remember?
Many Americans are becoming familiar with the reasons that spike the fuel price so high: the need for the crude oil and the dwindling supply that drove drivers livid by hiked prices.
The most likely reason for the decreasing investment at the pump is most directly related to consumers purchasing less.
Simple supply and demand; that’s why we are no longer left feeling enraged by the gas stations.
If there is anything to be thankful for in this tough economic period it is that it has led to the drop in gas prices.
Job layoffs, bankruptcies; these things affect the ambitiousness of the American consumer, resulting in a decrease in gas prices.
Americans also reportedly drove less since the onset of the increasing gas prices.
According to the Department of Transportation, this year Americans have driven 11 billion fewer miles on public roads, compared to this time last year.
More people are taking alternate transportation in metro areas, and people are opting for their bicycle or walking shoes for local errands.
Families are also keeping festivities local for holidays instead of driving far distances. People are finding that it is best to go over the river and through the woods to grandmother’s house some other time.
If this trend continues with the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday, the roads will be less traveled than in years past.
With the decrease in gas prices due to less driving, the ramification is that the federal Highway Trust Fund will receive less, since 18.4 cents per gallon are given to improve the roads.
But we should not expect the fuel prices to remain this low if it is merely a matter of supply and demand.
Factors that could influence the fuel prices include a return to recreational driving, given the lower prices. Natural disasters can also do the trick, as we saw with the gas price surge.
And then there is world crisis, which could instantly snap us back into a fuel shortage.
So get gas while the buying is good; by all means be sure to feel good buying it so “cheap,” or perhaps make the drive out to Santa Monica now instead of later.
But remember: in a time of limited resources and a hurting environment, we still have consequences for our purchases.
To find the cheapest gas station near you, or to report a cheap station visit http://www.gasbuddy.com.