Dramatic Drop in Valley Gas Prices

October 31, 2008 12:37:01 AM PDT
If there's one silver lining to this sluggish economy it's the dramatic drop in gas prices. Back in June, Valley prices were at record levels--$4.63/ gallon in Fresno. Thursday the price was $2.84. A drop of almost $1.80 in just four months. And prices could drop even more.The lines are long, but at this North Fresno CostCo there's a big reward for the wait. Regular unleaded dropped $.15 cents overnight to $2.44 a gallon. And stations around the Valley are seeing similar drops. Shawn Frede from Madera said cheaper gas allows him to venture out more.

"I've been moving around a lot more today and this week. This past week I've come to Fresno four times this week," said Frede.

One month ago gas in the Valley averaged $3.74/gallon. Thursday, gas was $2.84 ... $.90 less.

"That is a huge drop of gasoline following crude oil," said Joe Sparano with the Western States Petroleum Association.

Crude oil makes up 75% of the cost of gasoline. Since this summer the price of crude has dropped nearly $100 a barrel. Sparano said that drop combined with drivers spending less time on the road are fueling this price plunge.

"At the end of the third quarter of 2008 there were fewer gasoline sales and less gasoline consumption then there was in the third quarter of 2007," said Sparano.

Sparano said crude oil prices appear to be leveling off some so lower fuel costs could stay around for some time. That's good news to Lawrence Leon who said he can now do more with his family.

"Now I can be taking them places now. Got enough money to take them places. More money in our pockets," said Leon.

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