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Gas prices set to plunge

  • Analyst: pump prices could drop 50 cents within weeks
  • Inventories are coming back as demand drops
Gas prices set to plunge

Drivers across the country are about to get some relief at the pump, after a summer of soaring prices.

USA Today reports the cost of a gallon of gas could drop by as much as 50 cents over the next few weeks, as a rise in inventories coincides with the typical post-summer slowdown in driving, and stations switch over to less expensive winter blends of gas.

Analyst Tom Kloza at the Oil Price Information Service predicts a drop of five to 15 cents a gallon a week for the next three weeks.

Gas prices stayed high throughout the summer, and while the situation has eased a bit lately, filling up still hurts. The current national average for a gallon of regular unleaded is $3.66, according to AAA.

In California, prices exploded this month after a crunch in refinery capacity. Single-day leaps of 17 cents and 13 cents drove the average price per gallon near $5. The current average price in California according to AAA is $4.42, highest in the country. The cheapest gas is in Ohio, at $3.37 average for a gallon of regular unleaded.

On the hunt for the least expensive fill-up in your area? Try the map at Check prices at grocery stores and warehouse clubs that have pumps -- they're often cheaper than gas stations. And a few tweaks to the way you drive can result in better fuel efficiency.


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