Finally! Bay Area Gas Prices Drop About $1

Bad economy, lack of demand push crude oil prices down

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Bay Area gas prices have dropped more than $1-per-gallon in the last month, with gas prices plummeting nationwide and the price per gallon averaging below $2 in four states outside of California, according to the American Automobile Association.

    The average price in California for a gallon of regular unleaded gas is $2.52, a decrease of 94 cents from Oct. 14.

    AAA reports the average price of unleaded gas in the Bay Area is  $2.62 per gallon, down $1.01, and the national average is $2.22, down 94  cents from last month.

    The average price of gas in San Francisco is $2.57 per gallon;  $2.64 in Oakland; $2.48 in Santa Rosa; $2.66 in San Mateo; and $2.49 in San  Jose.

    Alaska has the country's highest average gas price, at $3.36 per  gallon.

    Among the lower 48 states, the most expensive gas is in Tahoe  City, Calif., where a gallon of unleaded costs $2.99.

    AAA officials have attributed the drop in prices to a downturn in  the economy and a lack of demand, which has pushed the price of crude oil  down by about 56 percent since July, when the price per barrel reached a  record high of more than $147.

    "The crude oil price is simply in response to a lack of demand and  the economic trouble being felt around the world," AAA Northern California  spokeswoman Cynthia Harris said in a prepared statement. "The question that  is still unanswered is how low prices will go before motorists decide to  drive more and push demand back up."

    According to a study conducted by the association in Nevada,  Northern California and Utah, nearly 70 percent of AAA members surveyed  reported driving less because of high gas prices. More than half reported  looking for a new vehicle to drive and more than 25 percent were considering  a hybrid or more fuel-efficient gas-powered vehicle.