Gas Prices Have Fallen For 51 Straight Days

AAA says that gas prices have fallen for 51 straight days — and that the current average price is $2.31 per gallon. The current price is the lowest the nation has seen since February of 2007, and is 43.8% lower than the record high of $4.11 set during July of this year.

Despite the lower prices, demand for gasoline continues to drop, according to MasterCard. They said that credit card swipes at gas stations were down 3.9% compared to last year. We can only imagine, with horror, what this slowdown is doing to “meat snack” sales.

Gas prices near $2.30 [CNN]
(Photo: The Joy Of The Mundane )

Comments

Edit Your Comment

  1. JustThatGuy3 says:

    I think you mean “meat” snack.

  2. Dead Wrestlers Society says:

    Felt pretty good seeing $1.94 at the pump this morning.

  3. Sure I could agree with you, but then we'd BOTH be wrong. says:

    Here’s the interesting part… Yeah, we were already in a downward spiral of the economy, and our current situation was inevitable…

    But, with the high prices close to $5 per gallon this summer, that was like a huge international funnel, siphoning the remaining money from our economy, to the middle East.. Now we’re broke, they have all our money, and gas prices return to where they were before…. Interesting timing, if you ask me…

    • MercuryPDX says:

      @Dooley: Is it not related to the “Winter formulation/Summer Formulation” thing?

    • Parting says:

      @Dooley: Scrap your hummer, man. (sarcasm)

      Ok, seriously, in Europe, gas prices have been much, much higher for ages… Same thing in Canada. This is more production vs demand thing. Oh yeah! That’s capitalism at work.

      • Sure I could agree with you, but then we'd BOTH be wrong. says:

        @Meltdown:

        My point is that the markets (more speculation than actual demand, as we see how much demand has dropped) raised the price of oil, which means more money going to the oil producers in the middle east.

        So now, our economy is drained (Not putting all the blame on this, but it was the “straw that broke the camel’s back,” pun intended)

        • OhYeahAlright says:

          @Dooley: But gas prices aren’t governed by the markets the way they should be. The oil companies have complete vertical consolidation. They own the oil fields, the tankers, the refineries, and the distribution networks. They are just practicing price fixing. OPEC is a trust that needs to be busted, too bad they have us by the balls.

    • Oranges w/ Cheese says:

      @Dooley: You also have to take into consideration that oil prices are based in Dollars and the US dollar was tanking against world currency whilst speculators were buying up oil stock like mad. Dual-edged blade there.

      Now the dollar is slowly slowly getting a bit stronger, and the speculators burst their oil bubble, so everything is normalizing.

      The price of gas has *never* been based on summer / winter or demand. Its “how much will they pay before they stop buying” and they hit that point and went too far and its tanking now because of it.

    • Anonymous says:

      @Dooley: @Dooley: @Dooley: Ummm… not to middle eastern countries. Try the hedge funds that were speculating on the price of oil. Notice that prices didn’t start to drop until the market started tanking? Pushing prices up like this took lots of capital for leverage that no longer existed.

  4. B says:

    I think Mastercard got the cause and effect mixed up. The gas prices are lower because of the lower demand.

    • DeltaTee says:

      @B: With a constant supply and falling demand, prices will fall. It’s the same reason prices went up to begin with. But let’s not forget to tax the outsize profits of all of the oil companies.

      • AD8BC says:

        @DeltaTee: Everybody knows that companies don’t pay taxes — they just pass them on to the end user.

        Which means, tax them more, and YOU pay more for gas.

        • Trai_Dep says:

          @AD8BC: Everyone knows that people don’t pay taxes – they’re simply factored into wage demands extracted from businesses, who pass them off to their suppliers.

          Which means – magic - no one has to pay taxes and societies flourish!

      • Necroscope says:

        @DeltaTee: @DeltaTee: Oh, where to begin. How about with ‘It’s the same reason prices went up to begin with‘ No, it is not. Well sort of it is, but not in the way you mean. Prices went up because of speculation. Demand (in the US) went down because prices went up. Elswhere demand pretty much stayed the same (or went up). In mid July President Bush signed an executive order lifting the ban on off shore US drilling. All that remained was for congress to let its ban expire without renewal. Speculators saw this move and, reading the writing on the wall, stopped pushing the price up artificially and let it settle to where it should have been all along. The Crash of the credit markets has only continued the fall of crude prices which is why they are still continuing to fall. Opec said last spring that supply and demand should have resulted in prices between $60 and $70 a barrel for crude but that speculators were responsible and they saw no need to increase supply to stem the price climb.

        As for the outsize profits of the oil companies. Yes the oil companies reported record profits. What the press does not report so well, is that it was in terms of pure dollars, not percent of business. The oil companies did record business. The profit margin was just less than 10%. Any less, and stockholders would start to be concerned and move their capital investment money somewhere else. You want to talk about outsized profits? Look to the credit industry where profit margins are in the 30% or more range. The fact that they are even asking for a bail out is insane. They mismanaged themselves into this mess. The responsible (to their shareholders) oil companies should not be penalized to pay for the credit companies mistakes. But that is the plan from Pelosi and Obama.

    • no.no.notorious says:

      @B: well also government stopped taxing the crap out of gas companies so much, and with more talk of drilling other places, people were like ‘shoot maybe we should lower the prices so they don’t get from elsewhere.’

      it’s a little more than just supply and demand.

  5. ohiomensch says:

    Paying $1.83 in parts of NE ohio

  6. pixiegirl1 says:

    Now if only airlines would lower their prices or eliminate that $15-25 a bag charge. I’ve been checking out airfares for January on and off for a few weeks and they keep going up even though gas has gone down. Blah I’m just going to have to suck it up and fork over a fist full of cash to go on my trip. :-(

    • jdhuck says:

      @pixiegirl1: Where ya headed? I am going to Madrid in Jan.

      • pixiegirl1 says:

        @jdhuck:

        I’m going to Portland Oregon from Chicago. The cost for the cheapest tickets went up almost $100 eeek but it can’t be anywhere near as much as your going to pay. Have fun in Madrid! I’ve always wanted to travel the world but my only problem is I don’t speak any foreign languages so I’d be stuck to the few countries that speak English lol.

        • bluewyvern says:

          @pixiegirl1: I think “English lol” is now being taught in primary schools in many countries worldwide, as they try to become more competitive in “teh globalz mktplace”…so grab a travel brochure and have fun lol!

          But I keed, I keed. Hope you have a good — and affordable — trip!

  7. Barney_The Plug_ Frank says:

    I feel sorry for those who paid top dollar for the Toyota Prius. Good intentions but bad timing–at least at this point and time.

    • howie_in_az says:

      @danno50: Eh that depends: if they were getting out of a Yukon or other such monstrosity then it’s very much A Good Thing(tm).

      However, as the Mrs-to-be remarked this morning, there seem to be a lot more SUVs with temporary tags on the roads now, meaning people are buying them up at low low prices. Some people apparently never learn.

      • pecan 3.14159265 says:

        @howie_in_az: It depends. A family of five can’t fit into a Prius comfortably, and forget taking that same family on a trip with bags or a pet. Some SUV buyers took the sales as an opportunity to get a new vehicle that got better gas mileage, or to trade down in size once they found out they didn’t need as much room. I dropped my SUV like a hot potato and used sales and incentives to get a crossover. I’m planning for the future. Right now it’s just me and the husband (and our pet), but in a few years we might have kids, and I don’t want to buy a Versa and realize in three years that I still have a Versa, but I have a kid, all the stuff that comes with taking care of a kid (diapers, food, extra six changes of clothes), and frustration cause I can’t fit everything into my car.

    • thesuperpet says:

      @danno50: I’m not sure buying a fuel efficent vehicle is a bad thing. Its better for the enviroment, and still cheaper for gas. Toyotas are decent cars (in my life at least) and if you needed a new car, its not a horriable choice.

      • pecan 3.14159265 says:

        @thesuperpet: that’s true…for the most part the Prius is a win/win situation. It’s extremely good fuel efficiency and it’s better for the environment. The only area where I think it might lose is the cost to repair. I didn’t even consider the Prius because I didn’t know about the cost of repair, and was not confident that just any Toyota dealership anywhere in the U.S. would be able to fix a broken-down Prius. And I wanted to be able to take my car to any shop, not specifically Toyota. And I need 4 wheel drive for the winter. Otherwise, I wouldn’t have minded driving a jelly bean on wheels.

        • quagmire0 says:

          @IHaveAFreezeRay: I’ve got a 2006 Prius and actually the cost of repair is probably less due to the fact that the gasoline engine gets used less, thus has less wear and you could technically get a way with fewer oil changes. Also there’s less wear on the other parts of the engine as well. What you are probably afraid of is the hybrid system and the batteries, but so far there haven’t been many reports of battery failure, and they have an extended warranty on the hybrid system.

    • Tmoney02 says:

      @danno50: Well when the economy recovers gas will go back up to its old levels. Then the prius owners will be getting back their premium again. And For everyone’s sake I hope that happens soon.

    • Parting says:

      @danno50: If you need a new car ( ’cause your old one is dead), it’s worth it.

      • ChanningDesomma says:

        @danno50: @danno50: @danno50: @Meltdown:

        I agree that it is worth it. Many Prius owners I know (including my wife) bought it not just to save money on gas, but because they wanted a car that runs cleaner for the environment. And Toyota is a dependable brand– I had a 1989 pickup that just wouldn’t die, haha! The Prius might not fit a full family of five inside, but a family of four? Sure! We’re gone around with two large dogs in the backseat, for what it’s worth, and it’s always been comfortable. :)

    • stevejust says:

      @danno50: Based on what?

      I bought a 2004 Civic Hybrid back when Toyota closed the wait-list for the Prius in 2004. For the last four years, I’ve been averaging 48.8 mpg. And the higher gas prices are expected to come back sooner than you probably realize. While a global recession is great for alleviating demand problems, we’ve still got a looming supply problem people are ignoring, and that’s a problem that is only slightly ameliorated by shrinking demand. That, and OPEC wants to cut back production to stabilize the cost of a barrel of crude.

      • zlionsfan says:

        @stevejust: Amen to that. I get between 48 and 55 in my 2007 Civic Hybrid: sure, saving money is nice, but I didn’t buy it to save money. I bought it to cut my gas consumption, and it’s done that in spades. When gas goes back up to $4 or more, the money will just be an added benefit.

    • Luckie says:

      @danno50: Ahhh, that’s why I have my lovely Cougar. Small, but it’s absolutely adorable and it keeps me from having to be the DD all the time – no one wants to try to sit in my backseats, and my friends over 6’0″ won’t even fit in the front comfortably! Plus I hate children and will never have them, so I couldn’t care less about carseats.

  8. Bertmanintx says:

    with prices under $2.00 in texas, i maybe able to finally fill up without swiping the credit card twice :)

  9. Anonymous says:

    So when can we expect prices for consumer goods to go down? During the peak of gas prices, we were seeing companies jack up their product’s prices (From groceries, furniture, even restaurants, etc.) due to increases in transportation costs. Hopefully, now that we’re seeing demand go down for everything with our economic crisis, we’ll see prices finally decrease soon.

    • jdhuck says:

      @GiannaKaploodle: No chance!

    • U-235 says:

      @GiannaKaploodle: Zero chance. Those companies ate losses for several months when fuel costs skyrocketed because they couldn’t just jump their prices to match. They slowly raised them, and usually with about a 3 month delay. The agency I work for just now increased the cost of power as a result of fuel transportation costs we were hit with last year. Of course, our price WILL come back down when we’ve recouped since our industry is properly regulated.

  10. kc2idf says:

    I wonder if the MasterCard data is skewed by people using more cash and less credit?

  11. gameraboy says:

    The swipe issue isn’t what you think. A number of gas stations were losing money on gas sales due to high credit card transaction fees. So the gas stations would offer a discount for cash transactions. Here in Jersey it’d typically be $0.10 cheaper if you paid by cash instead of by credit card.

    So while I imagine their was lower demand, a big part of it was high credit card transaction fees and incentives for consumers to use cash.

  12. Parapraxis says:

    The last time I saw a sign that said “meat snack center” it was hanging over the men’s bathroom at a truck stop.

    There was a line out the door.

  13. humphrmi says:

    HA!! I’ll drive to Peru, with lots of sudden starts and stops!! Dump the milk, Edna – the cat drinks unleaded from now on!

  14. okvol says:

    I saw $1.85 today. I need to fill up my Neon today too. Might be able to do that for less than a yuppy food stamp.

  15. Elijah86 says:

    1.95 in Plymouth MN

  16. no.no.notorious says:

    uuggghhhh still more than $2.5 in “upstate” new york.

    but this goes to show why we should not freak out over “economic speculation.” over the summer when I was playing $4.5+/gal, all the news outlets around me were saying ‘GAS IS GOING TO BE OVER $5 BY THE END OF THE SUMMER’ granted, places closer to NYC and places in cali did get over 5 a gallon, it didn’t happen at the scale those speculators were projecting.

    things fluctuate. it happens. but thankfully, it dropped a lot really fast.

    • Rhayader says:

      @no.no.notorious: I just transplanted from Upstate NY (born in Syracuse, lived in Albany the past few years).

      I moved down to North Carolina, and expected a nice drop in gas prices, but they are really just about the same as up there. Pumps around here are at $2.40 or so.

    • Caprica Six says:

      @no.no.notorious: Looks like both left and right coasts are still in the $2.XX/gal whilst the midwestern states are in the $1.xx/gal. What the f??

  17. buckfutt says:

    Oil peaked on July 14, and has been dropping like a rock ever since (minus was one big spike the first day the market tanked, which fell off again almost immediately). It’s now well over 50% down from the price that day.

    Homework for the reader: what happened on July 14 that popped the price bubble?

    • Necroscope says:

      @buckfutt: Bush lifted the ban on offshore drilling. Waiting for congress to do the same. Speculators realized the party was over.

    • Blueskylaw says:

      Credit card swipes are down because you don’t have to fill up as often with cheaper gas.
      Or would that be too easy an explanation?

  18. rpm773 says:

    I think it’s kind of funny how in the spring it was “I need to fill up today because I’ll have to pay more tomorrow”. Now it’s “I need to try to not fill up today because it will be less tomorrow”. There aren’t too many times when one can say that!

    Enjoy it while it lasts. It will flip around soon enough.

  19. battra92 says:

    I paid $1.64 a gallon today. Granted, that was thanks to a Price Chopper/Sunoco discount I got with my parents’ PC card (since they don’t go to Sunoco as the closest one to them is 25 miles and there’s one right near my work.)

    Felt good to fill up from an empty tank for less than $20. :)

  20. Kishi says:

    Just about 2.40 here, which is so nice after seeing it nearly hit $4 two month ago. It’s dropped about fifty cents in the past three weeks. And they’re saying it’s supposed to drop more after the 15th, when we finally switch to the winter blend, so here’s hoping…

  21. JohnDeere says:

    dont worry, opec will cut production again and prices will go back up.

  22. ganzhimself says:

    The gas prices here in sunny Stevens Point, WI are down to @2.199 /gal to $2.229 /gal, which is the lowest level I can remember since January 07, when the prices in my area were right around $1.999 / gal. Much, much needed relief, and the extra savings can go towards the big Plasma TV I want to buy.

  23. AD8BC says:

    Oh I feel great now, I can fill up my F-150 for only $50. I use about 20 gallons a week.

    But even when it approached $4.00/gallon, you know, it really wasn’t that bad. Since I own it outright and have no car payments, I just paid it and moved on.

    Would I buy another fullsize pickup when this one is old (which will be awhile, it’s a 2004)? Probably, unless gas hits about $8.00.

  24. Anonymous says:

    I hope Congress holds committee hearings over this rapid change in the gasoline price. Its time to drag the fat cat oil barons in front of Congress and rake them over the coals for this.

  25. veronykah says:

    @undefined: @IHaveAFreezeRay: Actually the Prius site says that the seating capacity is 5. If a family includes children [which USED to be smaller than adults], I don’t see why one can’t fit a family of 5.
    Not to mention what in the world did families DO before SUVs? It seems like every family in the 60s had 5 kids, they all rolled in station wagons. Seemed to work then, an SUV is not a necessity just because you have 2 kids.

    • quagmire0 says:

      @veronykah: Family of 5 would be stretching it. Maybe with three skinny kids in the back with no car seats. You can fit two adults and probably two kids with carseats comfortably. But 5 normal adults would be squeezed in.

    • RedOrDead says:

      @veronykah: People who don’t have young children don’t realize how much space car and booster seats take up. In Michigan, your child now has to be in a booster seat until he/she reaches 8 years old or is 4’9″ tall. There are full grown adults who aren’t as wide as my 2 year old’s car seat. Try fitting 3 car seats in the back of a sedan and you’ll see why SUVs are so popular.

  26. gmss0205 says:

    $2.28 here in Charlotte, NC

  27. Scoobatz says:

    Yeah! I paid $1.63/gallon today.

    Our local grocery store in PA, Acme, gives coupons you can apply toward gas purchases at Exxon. You can combine coupons and save up to $0.70/gallon and fill up to 15 gallons. (OK. So, I paid $2.23/gallon minus a discount of $0.60. It was still exciting.) I have a few coupons left that won’t expire until at least 2 more fill-ups. By the time I need gas again, I’m sure I’ll get closer to $1.30/gallon.

  28. lonebannana says:

    Yep. I watched the WalMart gas station flutter back and forth, from $2.06 to $2.01, and finally it went down to $1.97! Whooo!

    God bless all those Pickup Trucks and SUV’s that had those
    “Drill Here, Drill NOW!” stickers. They knew that offshore drilling would be the only way to lower gasoline prices! I’m just surprised that–

    –What? We haven’t started drilling yet? Oh… Then why is gas down? Supply and Demand?

    How come nobody mentioned THAT–on a bumper sticker?

  29. Caprica Six says:

    all of you with the $1.XX are lucky. At least here in the SF Bay Area it has dropped to 2.5X to 2.6X. Luckily, Costco serves it up cheap ;)

  30. Anonymous says:

    Don’t think this is a GOOD thing. The drop in prices is being caused by investment institutions dumping all their gas futures holdings because they are desperate forimmediate cash to cover their losses and stave off bankruptcy. A) It will only delay the inevitable. B) Gas prices will shoot right back up as soon as all the futures are cashed out.

    There are VERY bad times coming, folks.

  31. bovinekid says:

    Who cares how much cheaper gas is getting? I still can’t find a job, and obviously neither can lots of other people.

  32. quagmire0 says:

    @undefined: @danno50: The Prius is a really nice car. Aside from the obvious Hybrid advantages, it’s built well, is actually more spaceous than it looks on the outside, and has a touch screen that is hackable! :D

    On top of that, just because prices are going down now, doesn’t mean they won’t go up. I kind of agree with the notion that once prices come up to a certain point, even if they drop, they’ll come back to that high point again.

  33. Wubbytoes says:

    Gas prices here in Oklahoma City are well below $2.00/gallon. I really never thought that I would see it go that low again.

  34. baquwards says:

    Raleigh NC, $2.15, 1 week ago $2.65, two weeks before that $3.50, I fill up every 2 1/2 weeks and each time lately has seen a huge drop

  35. flowerofhighrank says:

    How very…interesting. Republicans are in trouble and need some love…and gas prices go down.

  36. WBrink says:

    @undefined: @quagmire0: Yeah, that’s probably a family of 5 in Japan, Europe, or anywhere that isn’t fat. Prius is definitely family of 4 if you’re in the midwest or south.

  37. Marshfield says:

    it was really nice tonight to get 40.00 worth of gas and get 16.5 gallons at 2.419 per gal. Back not too long ago in the 4.00/gal day, I would have gotten just 10 gal for the same money. Now I get 60% more.

    Wall street is in the crapper, the car companies are in the crapper, our economy is headed into the crapper but at least gas is cheaper! I say Yay!

  38. f0nd004u says:

    It should be noted that the gas prices going down are a symptom of economic turmoil with the oil companies. This may be good for consumers in the short run, but it will not fare well for very long.

    Invest in diesel cars, folks.

  39. ottawa_guy says:

    Woo, 80.9 c/L here in Ottawa, havent seen that price in ages!

  40. jstonemo says:

    Gas is $1.79 in the KC suburbs. It is closer to $1.70 the closer you get to KC. Unless you live in Kansas where they enjoy paying higher taxes on everything.

  41. TonyTriple says:

    Yay! Gas is cheap and it will stay that way forever! Screw energy conservation, Imo buy me a Hummah!

  42. kwsventures says:

    After 51 days of falling gas prices, I think it is time for the ignorant, pandering creeps in congress to call a hearing and investigate why prices are “down”. This is an outrage for all of us with pensions and 401k plans that own oil company shares either directly or indirectly (via mutual funds).

  43. Carl3000 says:

    Now that gas prices have PERMANENTLY gone down FOREVER, I can finally buy those 3 Chevy Suburbans I’ve been eyeing

  44. Anonymous says:

    Lower gas prices is like crack for the average consumer, but the lower it goes, the less likely companies will invest in alternative energy technologies, and our century long dirty fossil fuel addiction will continue

  45. drjayphd says:

    And yet, in downtown Stamford, CT… gas can be had for $2.999/gallon. The more things change…

  46. Oranges w/ Cheese says:

    Looks like its headed back up. it was $2.13 Friday evening, and now everyone is hovering in the $2.20′s

  47. Chairman-Meow says:

    So that’s where the Meat Snack Center is located! Now I have a place to meet all my meaty needs.

  48. Chewbenator says:

    1.94 in Ames, IA. Feels like I’m in the 90s it’s weird.

  49. enascar88 says:

    Paying $2.43 here in upstate NY