(NaturalNews) For years, Americans have been getting fleeced at the gas pump — with regular fuel at prices surpassing $3 a gallon and, for brief periods of time since 2008, more than $4 a gallon.
Whether or not you’re a fan of fossil fuels, the fact of the matter is that the industrialized world still runs on it in its many forms — coal, oil, gasoline, diesel fuel, fuel oil, propane, natural gas, etc. What’s more, this commodity is used to deliver goods and services to practically everyone on the planet, so when it is priced high, the goods and services being carried by various fuel-burning vehicles, ships, airplanes and trains must also rise to compensate companies for their fuel costs.
But in recent months, thanks in part to a huge shale oil boom in the United States, the price of oil has been steadily decreasing, to the point now where, in most places around the country, gasoline is priced below $3 a gallon. That hasn’t happened in nearly two years, according to price analyst website GasBuddy.com.
“It’s stunning what’s happening here,” Tom Kloza, chief oil analyst at the Oil Price Information Service, told The Associated Press (AP). “I’m a little bit shocked.”
Higher production, lower demand – lower prices
At the end of October, the average price of gasoline fell 33 cents to around $3 a gallon; a few days later, the average national price dipped below $3 a gallon to around $2.99. Now, according to GasBuddy.com, the average price, as of this writing, is $2.92; a year ago, the average price hovered around $3.21. Just a month ago, the average price was near $3.25 a gallon.
As global demand shrinks and as oil exploration and drilling technology has managed to affordably make accessible millions of acres of new sources in the U.S., and as crude continues to flow out of the volatile Middle East, prices have fallen. Now, in fact, the price of a gallon of gas is cheaper than the price of a gallon of milk, which, in September, averaged $3.73 a gallon.
Analysts believe that a couple of factors will probably send gasoline prices above $3 a gallon again soon: production declines, greater seasonal demand and more driving. But, the AP reports, America is on pace for the lowest national average since 2010. Moreover, next year’s national average is forecast to be even lower. The AP noted an example of the impact that prices are having on average consumers:
Written by J.D. Heyes
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