By Sarah Chacko
Killeen Daily Herald
Declining gas prices are a welcome relief to area drivers.
But it is a comfort that many know wont last forever.
Anytime it goes down, its good, said Robbie Nichols of Killeen.
However, Nichols and others said they were not hopeful that it would stay down.
I dont think itd go up high again unless we have another crisis, said Jennifer Boyd of Killeen. But whos to say that wont happen?
The U.S. Department of Energy reported the national average retail price for regular gasoline dropped by 10.4 cents to $2.376 per gallon, falling for the fifth week in a row.
Over the past five weeks, retail prices have dropped a total of 55.2 cents per gallon, the departments Energy Information Administration Web site states. Nevertheless, this weeks price is 37.5 cents higher than this time last year.
The Lundberg Survey, a bi-monthly poll of about 8,000 gas stations nationwide, showed last week that prices fell about 20 cents lower than they had been a few days before Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast Aug. 29.
CNN reported that analyst Trilby Lundberg said prices dropped as refinery capacity was restored following the hurricanes, imports have increased and demand has decreased.
Reuters and Dow Jones reported that the combination of falling crude oil prices and unseasonably warm weather in the U.S. Northeast the largest energy-consuming region in the nation have alleviated the pain at the pump.
Last week, crude prices slid to less than $60 a barrel, the lowest levels since late July, a Reuters article stated.
The Lundberg Survey recorded the lowest average price in Tulsa, Okla., at $2.06 for self-serve regular. The highest was in Miami at $2.74.
Though Patrick Nelson of Oklahoma City saw the low prices at home, he said paying for gas became like another utility bill.
The hurricane damage did not substantiate the cost increase, he said, but gas prices increased and will continue to, he said.
It should have never went up, he said. Everybody can see it was a money thing.
Nelson said the petroleum industry may not be as lucrative as it used to, but theyre not hurting.
While changes in weather and economy may stave off rising prices for the time being, drivers are trying to take advantage of any savings they can get.
Boyd said though area gas stations range in price by only a few cents, she is always looking for the lowest even if it only saves her 18 cents.
At $2.80, it about killed me, she said. But I think those days of $1.08 are long gone.
Contact Sarah Chacko at firstname.lastname@example.org