AAA-Nebraska’s Rose White says it’s unusual to see the amount of gas being burned by motorists fall during the summer vacation season.
“The Energy Information Office is reporting that demand is dropping and that’s occurring for the first time since mid-January,” White says. “It’s just under 9-million barrels per day. This is surprising as levels have consistently measured about the 9-million barrel mark every week in June since 2015.”
The drop in demand is only one of the factors that has led to a slight decline in gas prices this week.
“Contributing to the downturn in prices is crude oil costs, which have dropped nearly $6 a barrel just during the last few weeks,” according to White. She says gas prices will usually drop from two-to-four cents a gallon with each one-dollar drop in the price of oil. Still, gas prices in Nebraska haven’t dropped down to the level seen a year ago.
“Across Nebraska, prices are averaging $2.83 a gallon which is 9 cents lower than the national average,” White says. “We’ve seen a drop of 3 cents during the past week, but it does remain about 55 cents higher than prices reported a year ago when fuel across Nebraska averaged $2.28 a gallon.”
Summer vacation season usually leads to an increase in driving and an increase in demand for gasoline, but White says drivers are making adjustments with the high fuel costs.
“It seems that when prices do rise, people shop around and they also may even change their driving habits,” White explains. “When we start to see big spikes in prices, those with flex-fuel vehicles may favor the E-85 blend.” The E-85 blend of ethanol is cheaper than other blends of gas.
South Carolina is the state with the cheapest gas — coming in at $2.58 a gallon. California has the highest average price at $3.17.