Despite Recent Climb, Gasoline Prices Still 40% Below Peak

The national average price of a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline has fallen three cents over the past week to $2.60, and now stands at a nearly two month low.

This recent decline in the price of gasoline is pretty much in-step with the decline of the price of oil, which has been brought about by larger than expected reserve reports as well as a stronger dollar.

Despite the recent decline in price, the national average gasoline price is still nearly 60% higher than it was at this time last year.  Although, to put things in a little bit of perspective, the price of gasoline is still nearly 40% below the record high of $4.12 set back in July 2007.

Currently only two states – Alaska ($3.80) and Hawaii ($3.34) – are reporting average prices above $3 per gallon. There are now 18 states reporting an average price below $2.50 per gallon, with Oklahoma coming in with the lowest state-wide average price at $2.38 per gallon.

Price of Gas Back Above $2

The average price of gasoline has climbed above the $2 mark yesterday, marking the first time since mid November 2008 that gas prices have been so “high.”  Since the the first of the year the price of gasoline has risen 25%, or roughly 40 cents per gallon, and chances are pretty good prices will continue a gradual climb through the summer months.

Currently 27 states and Washington, D.C. are reporting an average gas price above $2 per gallon, with Hawaii being the most expensive at $2.50.  Utah currently has the lowest state-wide average price at $1.79 per gallon.

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Mother Nature Would Like to Have a Word

While I certainly can’t speak for everyone, it certainly seems to me that the call to go green, especially with regards to oil, gasoline, driving less, and more fuel efficient vehicles, has sort of been muted as of late.  I also think the explanation why is obvious.

I have long subscribed to the theory that if you want people to pay attention, take action, and make changes, you’ve got to hit them where it counts: in their wallet.  This is why I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the cries for becoming more environmentally friendly grew louder as gasoline prices climbed higher.

On the flip side, I think this is also why many of us seem to not be as concerned about the environment — or at least trying to make immediate changes — as we once were.  After all, the price of gas has fallen about 50% from it’s peak.

But, one opinion does not a fact make, so I thought I’d pose the following question to my Daily Fuel Economy Tip readers: Are you less concerned about environmental issues now that gas prices have fallen over 50 percent?

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$4 Gas and A Financial Mess

Whether you’re fearing for your job, or watching your retirement account get smaller with each passing day, you’ve been affected to some degree by the dramatic downturn in the U.S. economy.  You’re probably spending less money, and making an extra effort to make sure that the money you do spend goes a lot further.

Without a doubt, times are pretty tough.

Now, just imagine what it would be like if $4 gas came back and compounded the economic problems.  Would you be able to make it financially?

According to a recent poll on Daily Fuel Economy Tip, nearly three out of every 10 people would experience a severe financial hardship if gasoline prices were to return to $4 per gallon.

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Worried About $4 Gas in 2009? You’re Not Alone

The stock market is cratering, home prices show no sign of bottoming and unemployment may very well hit 10% or higher this year.

In the past six months, essentially an entire decade of “created wealth” has been erased.  Surely things can’t get much worse this year, right?

Apparently they can, says a recent poll on Daily Fuel Economy Tip.  According to a survey of nearly 300 people, nearly half expect $4 gasoline to return during 2009.

The poll asked “When do you think gas will return to $4/gallon?”  Here’s how the responses broke out:

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Oil Demand Down .25%, Price Down 56%. That’s Odd.

Without a doubt, 2008 was a crazy year for oil and gasoline prices.  Not only did both oil and gasoline hit record high prices — $147 per barrel and $4.12 per gallon, respectively — but both also managed to fall to five year lows.

When looking at the year in total, from January 1 to December 31, the price of oil fell from roughly $100 per barrel to roughly $44 per barrel, or about 56 percent.

Obviously, it is pretty abnormal that one of the world’s most valuable natural resources would lose over half of its market value.  The only real and logical explanation behind the drop in price would be an equally dramatic decrease in world wide demand, right?

Well, in this case, wrong.

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Hybrid Sales Fall Nearly 10% in 2008

It seems even popular and trendy hybrid vehicles were unable to buck the downward trend experienced in 2008 by the automotive industry.

Despite record high gasoline and diesel fuel prices, sales of hybrid vehicles fell nearly 10% during 2008, according to numbers released by the Automotive News Data Center.  However, in spite of the over-arching bad news, there was some good news for one of the Big 3: General Motors increased their hybrid sales by almost 200 percent.

The “headline news” regarding a 10% decrease in hybrid sales seems pretty bad.  After all, in the first half of 2008 we had both the release of several new hybrid models and saw the U.S. national average gas price climb above $4 per gallon for the first time ever.

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Be the Expert – Where Are Gas Prices Going?

Back in July, when the price of gasoline was well over $4 per gallon and the price of oil was nearly $150 per barrel, I said on this site that I believed the price of gasoline would never again fall below and oil would never fall below $120.  Turns out I was wrong.

Obviously, I received a lot of heat from plenty of readers, telling me my predictions were completely off base and foolish.  While the predictions in fact turned out to be wrong, I guess I can take solace in the fact that I certainly was not the only person to make such predictions.

Now that gasoline prices have fallen significantly, I thought it would be a good time to put many of you to the test.  So, for the past week, I’ve had a poll up on this site so that you all might have the chance let me know where you think prices are headed.

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Gas Prices Bottoming Out? Who Knows?!?

After hitting a nearly five year low of $1.63 per gallon, the national average price for a gallon of gasoline has crept up ever so slightly the past couple of days, and now stands at $1.67 per gallon. 

However, with the economy seeming to get worse with each passing week, nobody really seems to care about or have noticed what many experts believe is the potential bottoming of gasoline prices.

Currently, every state in the continental United States is reporting an average gas price below $2 per gallon, with Utah and Wyoming reporting the lowest average prices at $1.42 per gallon.  New York currently has the highest state-wide average price at $1.91 per gallon.  Both Hawaii and Alaska are reporting average prices just under $2.50 per gallon.

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Buying More Fuel Thanks to Lower Prices? Probably Not

Remember last spring and summer, when the price of gasoline seemed to hit a new record high with each passing day?  We were worried gas was soon going to become too expensive for us to commute to and from work, and we would have to choose between filling up our tanks or filling up our stomachs.

In an effort to help keep our budgets balanced, many of us cut back on our discretionary driving, only filled up our tanks half way, used public transportation more, and even gave up our our cars and trucks for bicycles and walking shoes.

Seems so long ago now, doesn’t it?

Since hitting a record high of $4.12 per gallon back in mid-July, the price of gasoline has fallen nearly 60%, and now stands at $1.68 per gallon.  The last time the price of gasoline was this low was back in April 2004.

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