Why gas prices are still falling
Even after Superstorm Sandy, they're at their lowest levels since March.
But prices at the pump continue to drop nationwide. And the bottom line continues to be this: People in Superstorm Sandy's path are using significantly less gas. Either they aren't driving much or they simply can't find gas because so many filling stations are without power.
That sudden slowdown is helping gas prices fall across the country.
Friday, the national average for a gallon of gas dropped below $3.50 for the first time since March, CNBC reported. Gas has fallen by 8 cents in the last week and 28 cents in the last month. You can see the national average at AAA's fuel gauge report.
Another reason gas prices are falling is because oil prices are dropping as well. Oil has drifted lower in Canada, North Dakota and parts of Texas, CNBC reported, and the price of oil is seen as an indicator of future gasoline prices.
But not everyone is seeing cheaper gas. There were numerous reports of fuel gouging in New Jersey, despite the state's anti-gouging laws. In fact, some stations had raised prices by as much as 30% in one day, a spokesman for the state's consumer affairs department told NBC News. The law only allows a maximum 10% markup.
AAA estimated that 60% of New Jersey gas stations and 70% of those on Long Island has closed after Sandy's devastation, CBS News reported. For many stations, it was the lack of electricity that presented the biggest problem, not a lack of gasoline.
Only two of the region's refineries were shut down this week, the Associated Press reported. The Phillips 66 (PSX) plant in Linden, N.J. briefly lost power and was flooded in parts, and a Hess (HES) refinery in Port Reading, N.J. was also down. Another company, NuStar (NS), said some of its terminals were damaged by water, CNN reported. Shares of Phillips 66 were down 2.2% Friday, while Hess shares were up less than 1% and NuStar fell 1.2%.
More important is whether New York Harbor has enough power going to its giant oil storage tanks and pipelines so that it can accept fuel deliveries and distribute gas to the region.
The main roadblock to providing gasoline in the Northeast is power. Once gas stations and the fuel operations in New York Harbor see electricity return, then the Northeast can resume its normal fuel consumption.
But for now, the rest of the country can benefit from more supplies and a decline in the price of gas -- a decline that AAA estimates should continue through Thanksgiving.
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gas prices are falling because the econemy has hit another stall just like it does every time the gas companies gouge americans at the pumps. we stop spending anywhere when gas companies get greedy. literaly if every one would stop using money to buy anything when gas prices are at rip off levels which they are right now, the government would get the message and stop the thives from ripping us off in the first place. people say it is supply and demand, not the case if we dont use gas they say it is because of low demand when we do use gas they say it is because of demand. or they blame the weather,or iran, or iraq, or any reason to raise prices. I say please every american lets shut down the econemy together as one unit. Stop buying any thing at all.
half of the problem with fuel prices is the gastapo tactics of the EPA
they are creating ficticious issues and shuting down or causing the shut down of refineries nationwide. the price of oil is under $100.00 a barrel but the price of gas is over $150.00 a barrel
dispose of the EPA and we will solve the price issue
SOme poeple are complaining that the price went up 30% in some areas of NJ/NY....and the govt. limited raise to 10%...what a crock....You need to ask yourself....if you cant get gas from your terminal/refineres....then it has to be hauled in and the trucker know this....so they raise the rates and the fuel comes from OHIO or somewhere not affected by the storm....It he 30% increase was to cover his increased cost then so be it.....don't blame the gas companies....anyway do you want the gas or not. if you buy it stop complaining or go down the road....oh thats right....that gas station doesn't have gas or didn't put in a generator so he could pump his gas....
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