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Gas prices down nearly a quarter

Gas prices are on the decline, and local residents could be getting slight relief in their pocketbooks, but prices are still much higher than last year.

AAA spokesman Clay Ingram said Thursday that statewide gas prices have dropped from $3.50 a month ago to $3.27 a gallon for regular unleaded.

“That’s 23 cents per gallon in a month, which is terrific,” he said. “But we’re still paying 64 cents per gallon more than on this date in 2010. That is somewhat concerning since our supply is roughly the same as last year, but our demand is much less than last year. Usually that’s a recipe for lower prices, but the investment speculators have managed to keep crude oil prices much higher this year than last year, despite the decrease in demand.”

Ingram said typically during this time of year, gas prices drop, as the demand drops after the summer travel season.

“Hopefully, that trend will hold true this year, and we’ll see even more decreases in the coming weeks and months,” he said. “Anything can happen, as we’ve seen in years past, but it certainly looks like we should be in line for lower prices through the rest of the year.”

Local resident William Mellown said it typically takes him $100 to fill the tank on his SUV. Instead, he’s opted to run on a half tank at all times.

“It cuts the cost down to about $50,” he said. “So, this drop in prices, it really helps. It means a little more gas in my tank.”

In Andalusia, prices average $3.27 a gallon, but can be found for as low as $3.22 per gallon at the Cannon Oil station.

Opp’s prices hover slightly above the state average at $3.29 per gallon.

In Florala, gas prices were well above the state average at $3.39 per gallon.