The average price of gas at pumps across the country has dropped to a near four-year low of $3.08 a gallon, according to a recent Trilby Lundberg national survey.
Its still not exactly a pleasurable experience getting gas but prices are certainly less painful at the pump than they were only a few months ago
“Oh definitely”, local consumer Chris Allen says, “it’s the lowest diesel has been in months, in years practically.”
“Yeah its kind of scary”, adds local consumer Paula Garcia, “I haven’t seen them this low since I can’t remember when, I think its been about six or seven years, I keep waiting for them to explode back up!”
Here on the Central Coast the average price for regular unleaded hovers around $3.50 a gallon due mainly to higher gas taxes in California.
But we found prices as low as $3.15 a gallon in Santa Maria.
It means you’re saving on average about $20 every time you fill up, depending on the size of your tank, over the same price last year.
“More like you have extra money to put toward gas so that’s what I use the savings for”, says local consumer Leah Betzale.
And lower gas prices is good news for the local economy and locally-owned small businesses like Cool Hand Luke’s restaurant and bar in Santa Maria.
“They are discretionary funds for everybody, they gotta fill up to go to work and they had nothing left in their pocket”, says Cool Hand Luke’s owner Scott van Pelt, “now they fill their tank up and they got a little bit left, they might go out to eat out a little more often.”
Experts say oil prices should keep falling due to increasing production in the U.S. and overseas sending gas prices even lower and keeping more people on the road.
“Its a good thing if it stays where its at right now”, Chris Allen says, “but if it goes too low that might panic people a little bit, I think, on the international markets. In the meanwhile, enjoy the ride.”
“Oh yeah, we’re going to be going to Vegas pretty soon, because gas prices went down”, Paula Garcia adds, “I can go longer distances, go up and down more on the coast and spend more money in the stores and eat out, yeah its good times right now for gas.”
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