WASHINGTON – Gas prices are starting to fall as the summer driving season comes to an end and refiners switch to a less-expensive gasoline blend for the fall and winter months and a recent drop in oil prices, according to a new report from AAA.
The national average for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline was $3.81 on Sept. 24, AAA stated. This price is 29 cents more than at the same time last year but five cents less than a week ago. The daily price had fallen for 10 days in a row as of Sept. 24. Regional supply issues kept prices high, with a fire at a Chevron refinery, refinery shutdowns in advance of Hurricane Isaac, and a pipeline spill in the Midwest at the end of July.
Recently, though, prices in 45 states have fallen this week, and even the five states (Colo., Wyo., Hawaii, N.D., and Alaska) that saw price increases saw relatively low increases of less than two cents. In three states, Mich., Ind., and Ohio, the average price fell by more than 10 cents during this same period. Seven states have retail gasoline prices that are currently higher than $4 per gallon, though, including Hawaii, $4.42; Calif., $4.14; Conn., $4.10; N.Y., $4.10; Ill., $4.03; Wash., $4.02; and Alaska, $4.02.
Oil prices have been falling due to negative economic news in the U.S. and globally, and West Texas Intermediate crude oil prices dropped to $91.93 on Sept. 24 per barrel from a high of $99 on Sept. 14.
AAA said it expects gas prices to continue to fall through the end of the year.