Plummeting Gas Prices Might See Return of $0.99 Per Gallon in US

The law of supply and demand at work.

AP Photo/Julio Cortez, File

International travel restrictions and home quarantines have slashed demand for gasoline and other petroleum products worldwide, and accordingly, its price has sagged under the weight of supply that exceeds demand. According to Gas Buddy, prices per gallon of gas fell from an average of $2.48 on Feb. 21 to about $2.21 on March 16, and with the United States' response to the COVID-19 pandemic escalating, that price is expected to drop further—much further according to one of the site's analysts.

GasBuddy.com

Gas Buddy analyst Patrick De Haan tweeted Monday that he predicts the national average for a gallon of gas could steeply undercut $1.99 in the near future and that $1.49 is increasingly likely. AAA reported Monday morning that prices in eight states have already hovered under $2 per gallon, and De Haan further posits that some states—likely those noted by AAA—may see per-gallon prices plunge below $1 per gallon. Even the most expensive states to fill a tank, like California and Hawaii, can expect to pay under $2 per gallon at some point in the near future according to De Haan.

De Haan's analysis likely factors in the shaky price of crude oil, which fell from a one-month high of $53.88 per barrel on February 20 to about $30. Crude oil prices have since rebounded, though Trading Economics forecasts gas prices' dip as only just beginning. Though its chart sends an unrealistic message about free gas, widespread work-from-home, quarantine, and widespread bans on large social events will reduce Americans' petroleum consumption for an indeterminate length of time, and prices at the pump are likely to tempt more than a few families out to hoard high-octane like it's toilet paper.

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