By Justin Cox

Killeen Daily Herald

Most Central Texans' wallets

are getting a break as 2007 kicks into gear, and with the holidays just passed, it couldn't come at a better time.

Gas prices have dropped below $2 per gallon across Central Texas, as residents enjoy the fourth straight week of declining prices since the start of the new year.

In Harker Heights, gas prices dropped to $1.89 at the Diamond Shamrock store on Indian Trail while the Cefco across the street came in at $1.93.

In Killeen, most stations' prices were a bit higher, but none were over $1.99. The Shell station on Fort Hood Street, the Mickey's at the corner of Veteran's Memorial and Roy Reynolds, and the Mickey's on Farm-to-Market 2410 were all listed at $1.99. The Exxon on FM 2410 was at $1.98, the Texaco on Fort Hood Street was at $1.97, and the Citgo on Willow Springs came in at $1.96.

Chris Sanders of Harker Heights was filling up at the Diamond Shamrock store Saturday afternoon. He said he's happy to see the prices keep dropping.

"It's about time," Sanders said. "I'm sick of having to take out a mortgage every time I want to fill up my truck. It's getting better. I just hope they keep going down."

The national average is $2.14 per gallon.

Texas ranked as the 14th lowest nationally with a statewide average of $2.05. Oklahoma came in as the lowest in the nation at $1.91 while Minnesota and Kansas were second on the list at $1.98.

Rose Rougeau from AAA Texas in Houston said the good news for motorists should continue.

"If the crude stays where it is, then the prices will continue to drop," Rougeau said. "If all factors remain the way it is, and the demand continues to drop, motorists should continue to see prices drop at the pump."

Rougeau said the prices have come a long way since last year, when analysts were

predicting they'd never drop this much again.

"Last year, we topped $78 per barrel, and analysts were saying that it would never drop below $50 again," Rougeau said. "They were wrong. Heating oil has dropped as well. Inventories in crude increased because of the lesser need for heating fuel.

"Everything comes back to demand. That helped increase the price drop."

Contact Justin Cox at

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