Gas prices drop slowly in Utah
Motorists may find little comfort in Utah's slowly dropping gasoline prices when they look to the rest of the country.
According to AAA, which tracks prices as a service to consumers, since Utah hit its record average price on July 18, $4.22, prices have dropped so slowly that the state now has the fourth highest price in the country.
"The Intermountain States are considered a separate gasoline market from the rest of the country," said Rolayne Fairclough, AAA Utah spokesperson. "This has to do with our isolation from waterways and the grid of gasoline pipelines and, because of our relatively sparse population, a lack of competition."
Utahns are currently paying $4.10 for a gallon of regular, self-serve. This is four cents lower than a month ago and 12 cents lower than the highest recorded price. Only Alaska, California and Hawaii have prices higher than Utah.
A year ago, the average price in Utah was $2.88. Alaska's average price is $4.62. This is eight cents lower than that state's highest recorded price. California's price has dropped 50 cents from the highest recorded price to the current average, $4.11. Hawaii's current price, $4.46, is 5 cents lower than its highest recorded price.
The national average price is $3.80 a gallon. This is 31 cents lower than last month's report and 97 cents higher than a year ago. The highest recorded average price is $4.11 on July 17 of this year. The current average price is 31 cents lower than this high price mark.
Prices in the Intermountain West tend to be in the upper tier of the country during the summer months. Idaho's average price is $4.06. This is eight cents lower than a month ago. Montana's average, $4.02, is a 14 cent drop from July's report. Wyoming motorists are paying $3.93. This is 14 cents lower than a month ago. Colorado's average price is $3.88, a 17-cent decrease from July's report. Arizona's average price dropped 29 cents this last month to the current price of $3.79. Nevada's price is $3.90, a 35-cent decrease from July's report. California's motorists are paying 45 cents less this month. The current average price in California is $4.11.
Oil closed on Tuesday just over $114 a barrel. This price is a $33 drop from $147, the highest recorded price. Oil prices have continued to trade below the $120 level even with the threat of Hurricane Edouard, the Georgia-Russia conflict, and the threats to the pipeline from the Caspian Sea to Turkey.
Utah cities surveyed by AAA for the monthly report show the following prices and comparisons from last month's report. Logan's current price is $4.08, a six cent drop from last month. Ogden's motorists are paying one cent more than last month. The current average price in Ogden for regular, self-serve is $4.08. The price in Salt Lake increased two cents to the current price of $4.08. Provo's price increased six cents. The current price in Provo is $4.10. The current price in Vernal is increased four cents to $4.18. Moab's price decreased 13 cents to the current average of $4.07. St. George's price decreased 24 cents to the current average price of $4.01.
"Economic downturns in Europe and the United States have led to decreased demand for fuel and have pushed prices downward," said Fairclough. "The lower prices are a response to this downturn. But, America's energy challenges are complex issues and to have long term success in solving these problems, we need wide-ranging comprehensive plans."
To stretch each fuel dollar, AAA urges motorists to maintain their vehicles, keep proper pressure in their tires, consolidate errands, drive more smoothly, and to lighten the loads in their vehicles. Another way consumers can reduce the amount of money they spend on fuel is to shop aggressively for the lowest price.
AAA Utah has a tool that can help. Located online at www.aaa.com/gasprices, the AAA Fuel Finder has real time information on gas prices at more than 85,000 gas stations throughout the United States.
AAA's Fuel Gauge Report is the most comprehensive retail gasoline survey available, with over 85,000 self-serve stations surveyed every day nationally.
Data is provided in cooperation with OPIS Energy Group and Wright Express, LLC.