Pumped Up

Why the cost of gas is not declining

The dream of low gas prices is over — at least for now. The price of gas dropped between June in September, but that was mostly due to consumers cutting back. Still, we all hoped sub-three-dollar-per-gallon gas was on the horizon. Unfortunately, it’s probably not.

About a month ago, a gallon of gas was going for an average of $3.70. As Money reports, experts believed that prices would keep going down, as typically gas prices decline during the colder months. That hasn’t happened. The average price of gas is now $3.92. The reasons for the increase are twofold: Oil refinery maintenance in California and oil supply cuts by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). These factors will likely lead to gas prices going up by anywhere between 10 and 30 cents per gallon over the next few months.

There is some good news. Once the refineries on the West Coast are fixed, that should bring prices back down a bit. Experts also expect the government to release oil reserves and that should help you save some cash at the pump.

Keep in mind that both of those moves will take place months from now. In the meantime, you should consider ways to save on gas. Use an app, like GasBuddy, which helps you find the cheapest prices. If you don’t want to use an app, do yourself a favor and at least shop around. Gas prices can vary widely by location.

Chris O'Shea

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