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Gas prices tumbling ahead of July 4th

The average price of a gallon of gas has fallen sharply over the past month. That's good news for travelers.

By Mitch Lipka Jul 2, 2013 3:46PM
Image: US currency (© Steve Allen/Brand X Pictures/Jupiterimages)If you're gearing up for a long drive during this Independence Day holiday week, there's some good news at the gas pump: Fuel prices have tumbled over the past month.

While the average price of a gallon of unleaded gas nationwide is $3.48 today, according to the AAA Fuel Gauge Report, some parts of the country -- including the Midwest -- are seeing sub-$3 prices. The national average a month ago was $3.62. Despite the recent drop, prices are still higher on average than they were a year ago at this time, when they sat at $3.33 a gallon.

In Tulsa, Okla., a gallon of unleaded is averaging $3.02 a gallon, according to, meaning folks around there shouldn't have too hard of a time finding cheaper fuel prices. GasBuddy noted the Midwest has seen a particularly sharp up and down, with prices around $4 a gallon at the beginning of June and a precipitous fall of around $1 a gallon to this week's prices. South Carolina is currently enjoying the lowest average gas prices in the country at $3.14 a gallon, GasBuddy reports.

"Gas prices across the country are finally moving lower in lockstep, leading up to the Fourth of July, which is welcome news for the 34.4 million travelers that AAA expects to travel by automobile this holiday period," AAA said. "The national average may continue to drift lower in the coming days, especially as prices in the Midwest and Great Lakes retreat from near-historic highs, however crude oil prices remain substantially higher than last year and are likely to limit the amount further that the national price will fall."

One reason for the recent drop in the prices is a huge BP refinery expansion coming online in Indiana, according to GasBuddy. The expanded facility is the largest BP refinery in the nation. The refinery can produce 413,000 barrels of fuel per day.

While a AAA survey ahead of the vacation week indicated a slight drop in travelers -- and that fuel prices were not a factor -- some might find the recent plunge in gas prices to be an invitation to fill up the car and take a ride. The AAA survey indicated that a lot of drivers find $3 a gallon to be the point at which they find fuel to be too expensive.

It could be a long wait to reach that point in several states that still have average gas prices near or above $4 a gallon -- mainly in the West.

Here are the most expensive states to buy gas, according to AAA:

  • Hawaii ($4.32)
  • Alaska ($4.04)
  • California ($3.99)
  • Washington ($3.79)
  • Idaho ($3.77)

More from MSN Money:

Jul 2, 2013 4:45PM
They say the tumbled in the last month. Well, they are doing a great job of rebounding just in time for another holiday!!
Jul 2, 2013 4:51PM

Bullsh*t article from the propaganda-pushing media.

Gas prices only dropped one cent... just one... two days ago and has since jumped up fifteen cents today. FIFTEEN!!!!!!

Jul 2, 2013 4:49PM

This might be true in other areas, but here in Grand Rapids, MI prices jumped 20 cents a gallon today, just in time for the holiday. Plus if the stations here stay true to form they may even jump again on Saturday just in time for travelers to head home. Stations here are so predictable. Gas goes up every Monday (and sometimes Thursday too) and starts coming down a penny at a time the next day or sometimes even later that same day. I don't buy all the crap about busted pipelines, downed refineries, etc. These things happened years ago too, but prices didn't jump like this on a regular basis. It is pure and simple greed.

Jul 2, 2013 4:40PM
What in the world are you talking about?? Gas just jumped $.20 or more in the last 12 hours here in Michigan. And they say there is no such thing as price gouging??
Jul 3, 2013 8:56AM
Down 1 cent up 10.  If that is your interpretation of down you sound like a politician.
Jul 3, 2013 8:04AM

It's CORRUPTION AND GREED by people who know you can't do anything about it. It will not change because politicians are getting RICH so therefore to them there is no problem. They don't even pay for their own gas so what the hell do they care.  People in this country losing time from work due to government sequester while we give our money away to other countries.


This is the kind of government you expect to help the AMERICAN people. All they are worried about is our tax dollars.

Jul 2, 2013 6:41PM
Down 2 cents!!!!  Two days later up .10 cents.  Good news story!!!! Media junk!!!
Jul 2, 2013 4:42PM
Jul 2, 2013 7:39PM
I would like to congratulate BP for building a new refinery In the USA. California fools would like to close all their refineries and pay high prices.  California is confused over their smog as it isn't from California but is blowing in from China who don't care about the smog as long as they can collect all the American money.  Along with the cost cutting the EPA budget should have been cut a lot.
Jul 3, 2013 7:59AM
What a bunch of BS, gas prices tumbling. Wait till after the 4th with the Big Egypt Scam and see where gas prices go. $4 a gallon gas is already here in some areas of the country and it will go higher because oil traders and speculators can do it as they answer to nobody. Maybe they can put the country into a depression this time around. Their Greed and Manipulation never cease to amaze me. These people need to be dealt with by Washington. Force these clowns to take full physical delivery of the product that they are buying.
Jul 3, 2013 7:25AM

Egypt's unrest has already sent futures up over the $100 mark for a barrel of oil, course that's futures but the prices at the stations are spiking up now on that news. Face it were all screwed. The current administration does not want coal production, domestic oil production or it seems anything other than it's own hot air to help propel us down the highway.


Face it, everytime an Arab farts in the Middle East the oil producers and the wall street speculators turn the screw another turn. Get use to it as their is no relief in sight.

Jul 3, 2013 6:24AM
This website is an Obama Propaganda machine. Facts are totally irrelevant!
Jul 2, 2013 4:50PM
Not to worry.  The oil companies are still in bed with auto mfg and goverment.  Their billions of profits will not be in jeprady
Jul 3, 2013 6:28AM
Connecticut just put into effect it's 4 cent state tax, and running around $3.78.  The next town over in Mass., gas is $3.37 per gallon (probably for another day, or until I again need gas.)  The station where you get money off for buying groceries (at the local Price Chopper) is $3.45.  The American consumer is the clear winner (?).
Jul 2, 2013 10:24PM
In Lima Ohio, gas prices went up $0.35 today. Just in time for July 4th.
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