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Oct-07-2008 13:15printcomments

Falling Gas and Oil Prices Bring Some Relief

Gas prices continue to plummet, with the Oregon average dropping 9 cents this week and the national average losing 15 cents. Both averages are at their lowest level since mid-April.

(PORTLAND, Ore.) - "If there's a silver lining in all of the bad economic news, it may be that gas and oil prices are declining. The national average for regular unleaded plunges 15 cents this week to $3.48, while Oregon's average drops another 9 cents to $3.49. Both are at their lowest points since mid-April." AAA Oregon Public Affairs Director Marie Dodds says "AAA predicts pump prices will continue to drop with our national average falling to near $3.00 a gallon before Thanksgiving."

Dodds adds, "The slowing economy means investors expect demand for crude oil and fuel to decline in the coming weeks and months, which is one reason why crude oil and gas prices are dropping." Crude oil fell to its lowest point in eight months this week, closing near $88 per barrel Monday. That's about 40% lower than the record high of $147 set on July 11th. Today crude is trading around $90 per barrel. Another factor behind the drop in prices is a significant strengthening of the dollar as Europe's banking industry deals with its own lending crisis. Crude oil is bought and sold in dollars and investors often buy crude as a hedge against a weakening dollar, and then sell when the dollar strengthens.

Despite the lower prices at the pumps, we're still paying about 60 to 75 cents more per gallon than we were a year ago. The national average was $2.77 last year, while Oregon's average was $2.86.

A gallon of regular gas in the Eugene/Springfield region is currently going for $3.397, and that is the best average cost in Oregon right now. The Eugene area is almost always higher than Portland and Salem.

Portland's average of $3.434 is the second best price in Oregon, with Salem drivers paying $3.454 at the pump.

Around Medford/Ashland, the average for regular is currently $3.581. Drivers in Vancouver, Washington are paying an average of $3.532 for self-serve regular.

Oregon's gas prices are 21st highest in the nation, up from 31st last week. Dodds says, "Normally Oregon is among the top 15 most expensive states, and we are going back in that direction. Our ranking fell dramatically after Hurricane Ike because of high gas prices in states that experienced supply disruptions as a result of the storm." Alaska has the most expensive gas in the country for the 15th week in a row at $4.16 a gallon, followed by Hawaii at $4.15, North Carolina at $3.79, Georgia at $3.77, and South Carolina at $3.67 . Washington is 13th highest at $3.57, up from 17th last week. California, which is normally among the top five most expensive states for gas, ranks 10th this week, up from 16th last week. Oklahoma has the least expensive gas in the country for the second consecutive week at $3.09 per gallon. For the third week in a row, only two states have averages for regular unleaded at or above $4 per gallon.

Diesel prices continue to decline. Oregon's average dips below $4 per gallon for the first time since the week of April 7th of this year, falling ten cents this week to $3.94, while the national average drops eight cents to $4.01. Hawaii has the highest statewide average price for diesel again this week at $5.07, and is the only state where diesel continues to cost $5 or more per gallon. Alaska is second at $4.85, followed by the District of Columbia at $4.46, New York at $4.42, and Connecticut at $4.22. Oregon's diesel prices are 36th most expensive this week, down from 31st last week. Washington's diesel prices are 27th. A year ago, the national average for diesel was $3.08 and Oregon's average was $3.19. Source: AAA

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Vic October 8, 2008 6:56 am (Pacific time)

I think any drop in gas prices is nothing more than a ploy to help McSame get elected...after the elections I expect prices to go even higher than they have been, especially if Obama wins because us uppity Americans will need to be taught a lesson.

EazyMoney October 7, 2008 1:35 pm (Pacific time)

Meanwhile NW Natural Gas seeks to increase rates by up to 40% Go figure...

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