Low gas prices fuel jubilation at the pump

By: Eric Czarnik | C&G Newspapers | Published January 12, 2015

 Drivers should take advantage of lower prices at the pump by keeping their gas tanks as full as possible. This will help avoid fuel line freeze as frigid temperatures sweep over the state.

Drivers should take advantage of lower prices at the pump by keeping their gas tanks as full as possible. This will help avoid fuel line freeze as frigid temperatures sweep over the state.

Recent gas prices have dropped almost as fast as the ball on New Year’s Eve.

According to AAA Michigan’s Fuel Gauge Report, state prices for regular unleaded gasoline fell as of Jan. 4 to a statewide average of around $1.91 per gallon, which was about $1.41 cheaper than during the same point in 2014.

This put Michigan as having the sixth-cheapest average gas prices among its fellow states, the report said.

That week, metro Detroit’s average stood at approximately $1.93 per gallon.

According to Susan Hiltz, public affairs director for AAA Michigan, prices haven’t been this low in the state in a long time.

“New Year’s Day, we got a big present in Michigan, and gas prices dropped below $2 for the first time in nearly six years,” she said.

Gas below $2 a gallon could play a role in how often or how far people drive, Hiltz said.

“With lower gas prices, definitely it made it more attractive for people to travel,” she said. “Our predictions were that travel was going to be up, and obviously with the lower gas prices, that was making it easy for everyone to travel 50 or more miles from their home.”

AAA attributes the plunging prices to a “lower than expected” global demand as well as record U.S. production. This has led to a “perceived oversupply,” the group said.
 
Hiltz said she expects the trend to continue so long as crude oil prices stay low.

“But we can’t guarantee anything,” she added. “We don’t have the crystal ball for gasoline prices.”

Carlton Carroll, a spokesman for the American Petroleum Institute, an energy trade association, said domestic hydraulic fracturing was a reason for lower global oil prices even amid Middle Eastern tensions.

“Falling gasoline prices is an economic stimulus that puts more money in consumers’ pockets,” he said in an email.

Hiltz advised people to still be smart in how they drive and to conserve fuel for needed activities. Also, she said drivers should keep their gas tanks as full as possible to avoid fuel line freeze as frigid temperatures sweep over the state.

Learn more about AAA Michigan by visiting www.michigan.aaa.com. Find out more about the American Petroleum Institute by visiting www.api.org or by calling (202) 682-8000.