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Gas price watch: Below 2

Friday, October 31, 2008

(Photo)
Murphy Oil at Wal-Mart (Eric Crump/Democrat-News). [Order this photo]
Gas prices plunged below the $2 per gallon level in Marshall Friday afternoon, Oct. 31, for the first time in, well, a long, long time.

The accompanying photos were taken between 3:30 and 4 p.m.

According to a CNN Money story published Wednesday, Oct. 31, gas prices had fallen 42 straight days and had reached a level not seen for more than a year and a half.

(Photo)
Breaktime (Eric Crump/Democrat-News). [Order this photo]
Even with the sharp drop in prices, though, motorists apparently are not resuming old driving habits that were curtailed during the summer price spike.

The CNN Money story cites a U.S. Department of Energy report that indicates Americans are driving 5.6 percent less this year than last year.

A poll on The Marshall Democrat-News Web site in mid-October suggested that area motorists are contributing to that trend.

(Photo)
Casey's General Store (Eric Crump/Democrat-News). [Order this photo]
In answer to the question, "Gas prices have dropped more than a dollar a gallon in the past couple of months. How do you plan to respond?" only 8.5 percent (49 votes) said "I'm going to start driving like I used to."

More people, 28.5 percent (165 votes) said "I'll watch and wait. This might not last," and 63 percent (364 votes) said "I'm going to continue cutting back."

Whether the trend -- in prices and in consumption patterns -- will continue may hinge to some degree on the outcome of Tuesday's general election.

(Photo)
Quick Trip (Eric Crump/Democrat-News). [Order this photo]
"The only reason gas prices have gone down is because of the election," said one poll respondent.

Drop in demand is listed as one reason for the gas price drop. Another is a precipitous drop in oil prices, which peaked at nearly $150 per barrel in July but have since slid to less than $70.


Comments
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Must be nice. Prices in California are still around the $3 mark or just below.

-- Posted by cjay on Mon, Nov 3, 2008, at 4:33 AM

I wish I was at home. Gas prices here in Indiana where I'm going to college are still about $2.20 a gallon.

-- Posted by aen2012 on Sun, Nov 2, 2008, at 1:44 PM

Oh my gosh, today was the first day in a LONG time that I could fill up my tank for under $50.... I almost wet my pants when it stopped a $27!!!

-- Posted by MG2008 on Fri, Oct 31, 2008, at 9:46 PM


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