For many drivers in the Tri-State, Friday brought Christmas presents to the pump. Cars in Henderson filled up for less than $2 per gallon.
It’s not often you look up at big red numbers on station signs to see a 1 before the decimal point.
“It gets down below 2 people notice it, don’t they?” laughed Larry Harris who filled up for $1.85 at Dodge’s on Green Street in Henderson.
“About as good as I’ve seen in a while,” Harris said.
If you pay with cash at Dodge’s you can get a gallon for $1.83.
Most stations on the Highway 41 strip were selling a gallon for $1.89.
Why the drastic drop this weekend? Tim Mahoney, Economics Instructor at USI, says it is simple supply and demand.
“The world supply of oil is high, and as a result it’s driven the price down,” Mahoney said.
The price for a barrel of oil in 2014 was around $100. Friday, a barrel was selling for just $51.
“In economics we talk about the income effect,” Mahoney said. “If the price of gas goes down low, what happens is the people have more extra money to spend on Christmas gifts.”
Patrick Arndell won’t be fuming over that. He’s getting the two-penny cash discount at Dodge’s
“I may go home and get some gas cans!” he said.
Mahoney says more efficient oil refineries, new ways of discovering oil, and more widespread use of natural gas in place of oil also contribute to lower gas prices.
According to AAA, the national average this weekend for a gallon of gas is $2.49. You can see more national averages on the AAA website.
You can check local prices on GasBuddy.com to see the lowest reported prices in your area.
Mahoney expects demand to bring prices back up before Christmas, but people are crossing their fingers their petroleum stays affordable.
“Tomorrow it may be 20 cents higher,” smiled Red Moore. “Who knows?”