Gas prices dropping, but reason may signify problem

Posted September 30, 2011 2:51 p.m. EDT
Updated September 30, 2011 7:05 p.m. EDT

— The average price of gas has fallen 20 cents in Raleigh over the past month, and prices are dropping other places as well. Although spending less on fuel sounds like a good thing, the reason for the cheaper prices might signify a problem.

Bill Summerlin drives all the over the state and said $3.29 a gallon at an Exxon station on Aversboro Road in Garner is the cheapest he has seen lately.

“It's hard when you've got $3.50, $3.60 a gallon. It's hard to put gas in the car to do what you've got to do for everyday life,” he said.

Driver Marree Mabine said she hopes the prices don’t go up.

“Whoever’s doing it, I really appreciate it,” she said.

AAA Carolinas spokeswoman Jodi Woolard says gas prices are dropping because people are worried about the economy – and not just in the U.S. Problems in Europe are having a big impact as well.

“As long as there continues to be unrest and uncertainty over there, we'll see the cost of a barrel of oil drop, which means lower prices at the gas pump,” Woolard said.

Raleigh’s average price of gas went from $3.64 at the beginning of September to $3.44 at the end of the month. Some analysts predict that prices will drop below $3 a gallon in the next few months, which has already happened in Oklahoma.

Summerlin says he'll believe it when he sees it.

“I doubt it will go below $3 a gallon ever again,” he said. “(But) we can always hope.”