Gas Prices Drop For Second Week In A Row, Still Dang Expensive

The U.S. Energy Information Administration has released its weekly report on the nation’s average gas price, and for the second week in a row the number is down. Even better, this is the first noticeable week-over-week drop of the calendar year. Unfortunately, at $3.929/gallon, filling up your tank is still expensive.

After 17 weeks of steady increases in gas prices, the average cost of a gallon finally flattened out in early April, just shy of $4.00. The last time gas prices crossed that threshold was May 2011, when they peaked at $4.018/gallon. That’s still short of the July 2008 high of $4.165.

Since last week’s drop from $3.997/gallon to $3.98 didn’t even represent one half a percent difference folks were hesitant to celebrate. This week’s nearly $.07/gallon price drop gives a bit more hope that further declines could be on the horizon, just in time for the summer travel season.

As we’ve previously reported, this could also be prime-time for gas gougers, as wholesale prices for gas drop but gas stations choose not to reflect that decrease in the price at the pump.

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  1. lovemypets00 - You'll need to forgive me, my social filter has cracked. says:

    OOOO yeah, I’m livin’ large now! Gas dropped from $3.959 to $3.899, so when I filled up with 14 gallons, my bill was $54.59 instead of $55.43. I bought a can of tuna, on sale, with the savings.

    At this rate, I’ll be able to stock up for the zombie apocalypse! Woo Hoo!

  2. xanadustc says:

    It is STILL under $3.50 in Wyoming…so I do not think the world is about to end quite yet.

    • nishioka says:

      To be fair, Wyoming is a lot like what happens when the world ends.

      (It’s funny because I live in Nebraska)

      • xanadustc says:

        “To be fair, Wyoming is a lot like what happens when the world ends.”

        Truer words have never been spoken…

        And the first week i moved out here the rodeo was going on. I made the comment (coming from a liberal state), that it was nice to not see PETA retards walking around. The guy I was with said that if PETA showed up, the cowboys would be hog tying them instead of the cattle….after being here for a while, that is very true!

    • akurah says:

      And it’s about $4.18 in California, where I live. Your point?

      • xanadustc says:

        My point is, most of the talk about gas prices is fear-mongering. Last summer when everyone was screaming $5.00 gas, I traveled through:
        CA, NV, UT, WY, NE, IA, IL, IN, OH, PA, DE, W.D.C., MD, VA, WV….

        I never found this elusive expensive gas…that is my point.

        • drjayphd says:

          Connecticut. Specifically, Stamford. Specifically, the station right next to Taco Bell on a hill. They consistently had the highest prices I’d ever seen (disclaimer: I didn’t look around in Greenwich at the time) and were the first to (gleefully, seemingly) crack the $5 barrier.

  3. SPOON - now with Forkin attitude says:

    still going up here. (upstate ny)

    • Grogey says:

      Mine in the CNY area finally went down yesterday even though where I am its the most expensive in the state just like our taxes. Still doesn’t mater, it will still cost me to 45 to fill up and that’s because I have to use premium but that’s my choice and my pain alone.

  4. hotpocketdeath says:

    Love my TDI. My monthly fuel budget is

    • hotpocketdeath says:

      Wow, dunno how it happened but my post got cut off. I guess you can’t use the less then symbol without causing an issue.

      I was saying my monthly budget is less then $100 a month even when diesel was $4.059 per gal.

      • shepd says:

        Feh, screw that expensive, smelly, dirty stuff. Propane is where it’s at! Love those half-price fillups!

        • clippy2.0 says:

          I think this is a pretty good example of oil/gas corporation conspiracy. Seems propane and natural gas conversions are actually pretty cheap (cheaper than swapping an engine) and in most cases very DIY. In other countries, they make up the majority of vehicles. And yet, it can’t be offered as a factory option? Blasphemy!

          Even worse, every time you see the european version of the car you drive. Lighter, and diesel. Those bastards! Give me diesel or give me death!

          • nbs2 says:

            Not sticking up for the industry, but there are a few issues that slow adoption:

            1) Most Americans still think of diesel as dirty, nasty, awful stuff. Getting them to see the light is a major obstacle to making broad rollout a viable option

            2) Americans use gasoline, Europeans use diesel – the result is lower pricing than you might have expected otherwise, since the US can ship excess diesel production to Europe and they can bring their stuff here. If everybody used diesel, where would the gasoline go (yeah, China and India, but they are still growing and not at Western usage levels yet)

            3) CNG is held back by distribution networks. I remember talking to Pickens’s people about this at an event they had just off the Hill. The Civic GX, as an example, is available nationwide, but getting fuel to people is not as built out as gasoline and diesel – presenting issues similar to (but not as problematic as) electric and hydrogen. Propane I can’t really speak to – I haven’t researched it.

          • shepd says:

            Factory CNG cars have been made (Certainly early 2000s Crown Victorias), and even factory propane vehicles (I believe some Dodge vans from the 80s were like this).

            It hasn’t caught on mostly due to the range and difficulty finding somewhere to fill up (Ooooo, sound like the electric car problem). CNG can only do about 200 kms. LNG is better, can do much more range, but it takes from crazy engineering to make that work and probably will never be appropriate for a car. Propane is the best choice of them all, since you can get about the same range as gas for the same size tanks and places to fill up propane are far more common (I haven’t seen anywhere that calls themselves a city without a propane fillup place that can handle vehicles, even in the US). CNG is the safest of them all, though, with gasoline being the most dangerous.

    • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

      The only downside to a diesel car is if it fails a smog test outside of warranty. Their emissions systems are insanely complicated and an absolute nightmare to diagnose and repair for US models.

  5. Mulva says:

    The Mobil across the street from me (in NW suburban Chicagoland) was all the way down to $4.07 before they realized they were dropping too low too fast, so they jacked it back up 22¬¢ overnight two days ago to $4.29 (which is what most of the other stations in the area were at, at that time), where they’re holding steady. It was such a jerky move – I already try to avoid them unless I’m ultra low due to poor planning, but now they can go soak their heads.

    We’re always #1 at sucky things in Chicago… or Illinois, for that matter.

  6. ancientone567 says:

    Why is 5 cents even a story? I can’t wait to get off gas for good.

  7. phonebem says:

    My motorcycle just keeps paying for itself, $10/week for gas. I can’t wait for summer blend gas to get here so I go from about 50 miles/gallon to more like 60 miles/gallon.

    • mrvw says:

      I’m right there with you. I paid $3500 for a used bike that I consistantly get 49mpg on. I commute 20miles per day, mostly highway and only have to get gas every two weeks thanks to a 5.5 gallon tank.

    • drjayphd says:

      Tempted to do that, but my fiancee’s already said getting a motorcycle would be a deal-breaker if we’re going to live on Long Island. Kind of hard to argue with her logic, which boils down to “you’re not allowed to die in a hideous flaming wreck caused by LI traffic”.

  8. shepd says:

    I have to do this every time.

    Propane dropped too, $2.23 a gallon. Filled up the car with it for $56.

    You guys should get CNG and stop complaining. :P I’d say Propane, but you Americans get raked over the coals on that stuff.

    • Carlos Spicy Weiner says:

      Don’t get too comfortable. The energy companies are getting ready to eventually export CNG to the world market price casino next…
      http://www.businessweek.com/news/2012-04-16/cheniere-wins-u-dot-s-dot-approval-for-natural-gas-export-terminal

      • pythonspam says:

        However, Natural gas is an actual domestic energy supply we have plenty of. Due to increased production (fracking opens up a lot of supply) and low demand due to a warm winter, the excess supply has driven the price to (inflation-adjusted) lows.
        http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2012-04-17/is-natural-gas-too-cheap-to-drill
        If the infrastructure were present, a lot more people would be driving CNG cars, however, they are mostly used for fleet vehicles now. For example, in Atlanta,
        http://alternative-fuel.cleantechnica.com/l/3/Metropolitan-Atlanta-Rapid-Transit-Authority-Atlanta-GA

        • Carlos Spicy Weiner says:

          I agree, CNG still suffers from distribution problems, and wish companies like UPS would get their entire fleet on CNG. However, watch out for the price you pay if we start a large export service. I also think the WHOLE picture on fracking isn’t out yet, i.e. ground water contamination.

          • shepd says:

            I’m not saying they couldn’t TRY, but if they did that (significantly raising the prices), they would lose a LOT of home and business customers (who are using it for heating, cooking, etc), which is their largest consumer to electric power.

            The problem with gas is the only thing it is popularly used for is engines, most specifically, car and truck engines. And since you can’t just say “Feh, too expensive, I’ll run electric power now” when that happens, they can get away with it.

            For CNG and propane, there’s just too much competition for me to see anything too crazy happening. Heck, if you don’t want to buy a new furnace (which is surprisingly cheap nowadays) you can just convert your furnace and appliances between the two gases for not much money (or for free if you live life dangerously/illegally and don’t mind drilling out orifices). Since completely different companies provide NG and propane they’re stuck following each other’s lead.

  9. skakh says:

    Our elected officials are there to represent us, the people. Rather than spend time trying to control women’s uteruses, arguing about Obama’s birth certificate, or trying to destroy unions, perhaps we would all benefit if these officials did their job. Curbing wild speculation on oil, which allows the one percent to get richer while pushing the lower and middle classes even lower, would be a nice start.

    • Bsamm09 says:

      How about you just join them? If you believe it is just the speculators driving the price up and up, here is the ticker symbol of a 3X leveraged energy index based solely on derivatives: ERX.

      It’s a fun one. I have invested a decent amount from time to time on its cousin ERY, who has done me right in the summer months. Don’t put in money you can’t afford to lose as these are very volatile stocks.

  10. Gregory Varnadoe says:

    Still better than Japan. Regular was at 153Y per liter a couple weeks ago. Works out to about $8 a gallon.

  11. TasteyCat says:

    I have yet to see it drop even a penny. At least it stopped going up.

    Here’s something else to celebrate: 8.2% unemployment. It’s less worse than it used to be (because people quit looking).

    • MrEvil says:

      Or they got a job as a ‘contractor’ which is the du jour thing for companies to do right now. Convert as much of their permanent staff into contractors as possible. Same amount of work, for less $$$$ spent and much easier to dispose of the employee when they’re no longer needed.

      Companies used to prioritize their customers first, then their employees. But in the past 20 years or so the pendulum has swung to where the Shareholders always come first and screw everybody else.

  12. Carlos Spicy Weiner says:

    It’s a “world market” now. Asia is willing to pay more for refined gasoline than we are, so oil companies go where the price is better. It doesn’t matter that there is a glut in crude right now, or that gas consumption in the U.S. is down…the old Supply and Demand model doesn’t apply domestically anymore.

    Just wait until they start exporting all this “cheap”, fracked, Natural Gas if the export terminal they want to build becomes a reality…
    http://www.businessweek.com/news/2012-04-16/cheniere-wins-u-dot-s-dot-approval-for-natural-gas-export-terminal

  13. AngryK9 says:

    They have dropped here, from $3.99 to $3.79 over the course of the last 3 weeks.

    They will jump back to $3.99 (or more) in one day.

    You can count on it. After all, they won’t let those predictions of a $5.00/gallon national average by June get away that easily.

  14. Not Given says:

    Gas has been the same price here for weeks. DH filled his truck the other day for $100, well not quite full, that’s when the pump shut off and I had cautioned him about restarting it and triggering an extra $125 hold on the debit card.

  15. Boiled for your sins says:

    In Northern NJ, it just seems as though the price has stopped rising as quickly rather than dropping… Instead of jumping 4-6 cents between my morning and evening commute, the prices seem to be steady or only going up 1-3 cents. Let’s see what this week brings.