Eighteen months ago, crude oil climbed to more than $100 per barrel. Last week, that figure dipped below $30, the lowest it’s been in 12 years. Which means gas is cheap. Real cheap. And the state of Michigan is going crazy.
Yesterday, in the town of Houghton Lake, the Beacon & Bridge Market dropped the price of regular unleaded to $0.78 cents per gallon. Then a local news website posted a photo of another nearby station’s advertised price of $0.47 cents a gallon. Other reports add that a third station, located across the street, was offering gas at $0.98 a gallon.
According to an NBC affiliate, the prices were the result of a "gas war" between Houghton Lake’s filling stations, and have since been raised back up to $1.43 a gallon. But still. Take a moment to consider the gravity of this moment.
While Houghton Lake may be an outlier, the average price of 87-octane gasoline in Michigan right now is about $1.72 per gallon. Compare that with the lowest national average recorded by the U.S. Department of Energy, an inflation-adjusted $1.51 per gallon in 1998. Experts say gas prices will continue to fall. If that happens, we could be watching history in the making. Whether that’s actually a good thing in the grand scheme is still debatable…