Gas prices in Central Oregon continue to fall, dropping nearly cents since their all-time high set just more than a month ago. But ask drivers and they’ll tell you they haven’t really noticed.
“No, I had no idea they were going down. I have an 18-gallon tank. It’s at $90, and that’s ridiculous,” said Michelle McDevitt of Bend.
“They’ve gone down some but not enough. Anything above $5 is too much,” said Bendite Les Scully.
AAA said the average price for regular unleaded in Bend Tuesday was $5.353 per gallon. That’s down 24 cents from one month ago and 28 cents since the record high set on June 14.
It’s still higher than the Oregon state average, which is $5.266. And it remains more than $1.50 per gallon more expensive than a year ago.
Diesel is at $6.438 in Bend, up about four cents from a month ago but still about 15 cents less than the all-time high set July 3.
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AAA said Monday that the national average fell 15 cents since last week to $4.52, dropping again Tuesday to $4.50.
“Global economic headwinds are pushing oil prices lower and less expensive oil leads to lower pump prices,” said Andrew Gross, AAA spokesperson in a statement. “And here at home, people are fueling up less, despite this being the height of the traditional summer driving season. These two key factors are behind the recent drop in pump prices.”
GasBuddy’s head of petroleum analysis believes the national average will drop below $4 per gallon within the next month.
“This trend is likely to reach a sixth straight week, with prices likely to fall again this week. Barring major hurricanes, outages or unexpected disruptions, I forecast the national average to fall to $3.99 per gallon by mid-August,” said Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy, in a statement. “So far, we’ve seen the national average drop for 34 straight days, with over 25,000 stations now back at $3.99 per gallon or less, and thousands more stations will join this week. In addition, we will see several states fall back under an average of $4, the majority being in the south, but that could spread to more states in the weeks ahead.”
In Oregon and other parts of the west, it may be too much to ask for average gas prices to drop below $4. Oregon, Washington, Idaho, California, Nevada, Utah, Alaska and Hawaii are all above $5.