Americans have already determined that they won’t be spending more this Holiday, despite the money they’re saving on record low gas prices. But perhaps the even newer lows will prompt a change of heart, or at least convince some to do a little extra traveling. Last week BlackEnterprise.com shared research indicating that “the Energy Department predicts that next year gasoline prices will average to $2.60 a gallon: the lowest full-year average since 2009.” MSN, however, reveals that right now the national average for a gallon of regular is $2.38—down from $2.84 a month ago. GasBuddy.com shares five cities that currently have gas for less than $2 a gallon: Tulsa, Oklahoma ($1.96); Lubbock, Texas ($1.98); Kansas City, Missouri ($1.99); Fort Worth, Texas ($1.99); and Dallas, Texas ($1.99).
According to MSN, there are three determinants for the drop in gas prices. The cost of oil directly impacts the cost of gas, and oil prices have dropped from over $100 a barrel to below $60 since June– and even below $55 at one period. Proximity to large refineries also influences gas prices. “All of the cities with sub-$2 gas are near the huge refineries on the Gulf of Mexico coast, especially near Houston,” according to MSN. Lastly, “state gasoline tax prices play an outsized role. The gas tax in Texas ranks 38th among American states at $0.20 per gallon. The gas tax in Oklahoma ranks 46th by the same measure at $0.17. By contrast, New York has the highest gas tax at $0.50.”
MSN predicts that the number of cities with gas below $2 is bound to increase, and such a foresight may be more timely than one expected. It was just reported through the Detroit Free Press that Michigan now joins the list of cities with gas for less than $2 a gallon.