Oregon, Washington Gas Prices Continue to Drop
(Portland, Oregon) – Gas prices in Oregon continue drop, although not as fast as around the rest of the nation and certainly not as quickly as many would like. (Above: Cannon Beach).
The Oregon AAA said pump prices in Oregon, Washington and California have dropped to below $4 a gallon. The national average for regular went down by 4.5 cents to $3.50 – the lowest since February. But Oregon's prices dipped down 17 cents this week to an average of $3.93 per gallon, making it the first time below $4 a gallon since March 19.
“This is the second week in a row that Oregon has seen double-digit decreases,” said AAA spokesperson Marie Dodds. “Last week’s decline was 13 cents.”
Nationally, the average gas price reached its peak so far on April 6, and that average has fallen 62 of the last 64 weeks. While Oregon's average peaked at $4.27 a gallon on June 1, this was still just two cents short of the all-time peak of $4.29 set on July 3, 2008. Gas prices on the West Coast can be volatile because of this region’s tight refining capacity and its isolation from the rest of the country’s fuel sources.
So far, it has been a steady decline in gas prices, thanks to lower crude prices and economic concerns in the U.S. as well as in other countries like Greece and Spain.
The drop could continue through the Independence Day travel period because this year the holiday falls in the middle of the week, which is predicted to mean less travel by motorists. Already, some larger hotel owners on the Oregon coast are predicting it may not be a complete sellout for rooms as it is almost every year.
AAA said drivers in all states within the continental U.S. are now paying less than $4 per gallon on average forgasoline. Outside of Hawaii ($4.40) and Alaska ($4.29), California currently has the highest state average retail gasoline price at $3.98. Drivers in South Carolina pay the least with a state average of $3.08 per gallon.