BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) — If you've noticed a few extra dollars in your wallet after filling up at the gas station, you aren't the only one. Prices are down and are expected to dip even lower as we head into the holiday season.
Eyewitness News caught up with Patricia Chavez as she was at the pump in Bakersfield, and she said her husband was recently laid off, so the drop in prices couldn't have come at a better time.
"It has been very hard for a lot of people, a lot of people going through some hard times, a lot of people losing their jobs, just really trying to make ends meet," she said. "And it does help a little bit."
Right now, the average price of regular unleaded across the country is about $3.19 a gallon. Compare that to the average price in California, at $3.60 a gallon, which fell 24 cents over the past month.
Jeff Lenard with the National Association of Convenience Stores said Californians are headed for even happier times at the pump.
"The latest report shows that I think we are in for a good final two months of the year, in terms of spending. People are feeling better, and the news couldn't come at a better time," said Lenard.
The drop in prices is typical for this time of year, and prices are expected to drop into to January for three reasons:
- Crude oil prices are down nearly $12 per barrel, or about 27 cents per gallon.
- Travel is down from the summer months, so is the demand for gas is lower.
- Refiners have shifted to the winter blend of gasoline, which usually increases production 5 percent to 8 percent more than during the summer.
"Coming close to the holiday, everybody needs a little change in their pockets, and with the gas prices dropping it does help," said Chavez.
It's also important to note that October marked the first month in nearly two decades, that the U.S. extracted more oil from the ground than it imported from abroad.