Gas prices inching toward $2

Published 10:03 pm Friday, December 19, 2014

Gas prices in Covington County have fallen to $2.21 per gallon in many places, and prices are expected to continue to drop.

“Our economy is improving, our supply is much stronger than our demand and crude prices have dropped considerably the past few months which has pushed our prices lower,” AAA Spokesperson Clay Ingram said.

According to AAA, holiday travel is expected to total 98.6 million as Americans journey 50 miles or more from home during the year-end holiday season, an increase of four percent from the 94.8 million who traveled last year.

The Alabama state average, according to the AAA fuel gauge report, is $2.33. That is a 74-cent difference from last year, and low gas prices help boost disposable income this holiday season.

While Ingram doesn’t expect the Alabama state average to fall below $2, he said the fate of gas prices is in the consumers’ hands

“I think we will see some stations below the $2 per gallon mark, but I don’t think we will get our state average below $2,” Ingram said. “However, it would certainly be possible, and price shopping will certainly help push them lower.”

He said price shopping creates competition in the marketplace.

“If we only buy the cheapest gas, then the higher priced stations will be forced to lower their prices to compete with the lower priced stations,” Ingram said. “It puts tremendous downward pressure on gas prices.”

He said the process is very simple and it actually works.

“I think we will likely see prices drop a little more over the next 6-8 weeks, before they start increasing as we approach the spring spike in demand,” Ingram said.

AAA says prices peak around Memorial Day then drop again in the fall. In late February, investors buy up crude oil – driving up prices at the pump up again.

According to AAA’s daily fuel guage, average gas prices in Alabama are $2.31 per gallon for regular fuel.

As of Friday night, reported prices of $2.21 per gallon at Gitty UP-N-Go at US 29 and Juleskinner Lane and at Inland on U.S. 84. reported $2.24 per gallon gas at Marathon, both Cenergy locations, and other Gitty Up-N-Go locations.