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GAS PAINS: Will U.S. Ever see price of gasoline dip below $3 a gallon - ever again?

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
September 17th, 2013
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

At one time it was a matter of inconvenience during the hot summer months - gas prices would soar over $3 a gallon just as most of us were fixing to jump in the car and travel. Now, with gas prices clinging to - well over $3 a gallon for more than a 1,000 days, many are beginning to ask - we will ever see a day when prices at the pump will ever dip below that figure?

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - This expensive plateau began on Dec. 23, 2010. In the meantime, the AAA forecasts the national average will remain above $3.00 per gallon for at least ANOTHER thousand days - barring, God forbid, a major economic recession.

"Paying less than $3.00 per gallon for gasoline may be automotive history for most Americans, like using 8-track tapes or going to a drive-in movie," Bob Darbelnet, President and CEO of AAA says. "The reality is that expensive gas is here to stay, which is tough on millions of people who need a car to live their lives. While a few lucky drivers may occasionally pay less than $3.00 per gallon, the national average is likely to remain more costly into the future."

The national average remains mired at $3.52 per gallon. Gas prices on average have remained above $3.50 per gallon for the majority of days during the spell. The AAA projects the national average will remain higher than $3.50 per gallon tomorrow. Breaking down the days with the price of gas at the pump goes something like this:

 - $3.25 per gallon or higher for 913 total days
 - $3.50 per gallon or higher for 643 total days
 - $3.75 per gallon or higher for 189 total days
 - $4.00 per gallon or higher for 0 days

"Motorists took notice when gas prices crept past $3 per gallon," Darbelnet says. "Spending more on gas concerns consumers because it reduces savings and spending for everything else we need. Our leaders can help alleviate this economic burden by encouraging a national policy that stimulates production, limits price volatility, ensures greater efficiency and promotes alternative energy."

Gas prices first hit $3.00 per gallon for eight days immediately following Hurricane Katrina from Sept. 3-10, 2005. The longest previous streak above $3.00 per gallon was for 244 days from Feb. 17-Oct.17, 2008.

The public enjoyed a brief respite when gas fell below $3.00 per gallon for 796 days from Oct. 18, 2008-Dec. 22, 2010 due to a weaker economy, which demands less gasoline and oil. The national average tomorrow will have remained above $3.25 per gallon for 265 consecutive days.

The national average price of gas so far this year is $3.57 per gallon. However - this average should drop through December as demand declines during cooler months. Last year was the most expensive year on record with an annual average of $3.60 per gallon, followed by an annual average of $3.51 per gallon in 2011.

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