Lower prices at the pump a welcome gift
BATON ROUGE - A welcome Christmas present for many travelers is much lower prices at the gas pump this year.
On Christmas Day, analysts say gas prices in the U. S. are at the lowest they've been since 2008, when the average per gallon of regular was $1.63. Many driver are seeing prices dip below $2 per gallon, like Louisiana where prices average $1.81 per gallon of regular.
"Just like every year, it depends on where you are to see if your stocking is stuffed or the Grinch is alive," GasBuddy senior petroleum analyst Patrick DeHaan told ABC News Friday.
Prices in California are higher in many cases than they were a year ago, reaching between $2.60 to $3 in some cities due to taxes and fees. But the national average is around $2.02 a gallon for regular, according to the Energy Department's weekly estimate this past Monday, down 1 cent from last week and about 37 cents from a year ago.
The reason? Supply and demand, coupled with unusually high temperatures in the northeast. Since people are using less heating oil because of the 60 to 70 degree weather, there's less demand to pressure prices higher.
"But like all good things, the party is probably is going to end sometime in mid- to late-February when prices tend to go higher," DeHaan said