The price of a gallon of regular-grade gasoline is now the lowest it
has been since Jan. 23 across the country. It is $3.43 a gallon, down
another 9 cents this week, the 12th straight week of declines in the
government's recent weekly survey.
This week also marks the first
time gas has slipped below $3.50 a gallon in the the Energy Information
Administration's survey since February.
What's more, the decline
comes at an unusual time: The summer driving season has just begun,
traditionally the time when gas prices are highest. Prices for regular
gas are now 13.7 cents below the same week last year.
USA TODAYreported Friday that prices could fall below $3 a gallon by Halloween --
and just before the presidential election. Production is up, and
inventories are at a 21-year high. Plus, more drivers are buying
high-mileage cars in the U.S., even though overseas demand for gas and
oil has increased in recent years.
The east and west coasts saw
the biggest price declines for the week, down more than 13 cents.
California's average gas price fell below $4 gallon for the first time
in weeks. Regular gas in the Golden State now averages $3.89 a gallon.