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Area gas prices bottom out in time for fall travel

POSTED: October 11, 2013 10:48 p.m.

If you think it’s taking less green to fill your tank with gasoline, you’re right.

The average price for a gallon of regular gasoline in metro Atlanta is $3.24, down from $3.50 a month ago and from almost $3.61 a year ago.

The national average is $3.38. For many states, the price is the lowest of the year, AAA reported.

“I would chalk it up to normal seasonal trends,” said Patrick DeHaan, senior petroleum analyst for website GasBuddy.com. “Demand for gasoline tends to take a dive in the fall, and we’ve switched to winter gasoline, which is cheaper (summer gas uses a different blend to reduce ozone pollution).

“Also, we’ve gotten some help from the easing of tensions in the Middle East, with the resolution in Syria, at least for now.”

Less green spent on gas could help those in search of changing leaf colors in the mountains as many in Northeast Georgia head out for fall drives and hikes. It’s likely also good news for those traveling for fall football games.

DeHaan said the decline in gas prices may be about to stall, though, at least for a while.

“I don’t see gas prices getting below about $3 a gallon, so it’s pretty close to where it’s going to be” until the holiday season, he said. “It’s possible gas prices will be even lower between Thanksgiving and Christmas.”

DeHaan said the partial government shutdown has not affected gas prices.

“But (Thursday), with some optimism (about Congress averting default on federal debt), oil prices rose about $2 a barrel,” he said.

“If that (increase in oil prices) continues, there could be some upside pressure on gas prices,” DeHaan said, but “there’s too much uncertainty” to say how many more cents a gallon that could mean.


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