CLEVELAND - Gas prices in northeast Ohio could fall Tuesday to below $3 a gallon.
While prices have already been fluctuating below $3.20 a gallon in Cleveland, gasbuddy.com says that St. Louis consumers are seeing stations at $2.79; while Tulsa has some stations at $2.85 a gallon. In Lubbock, Texas, Tuesday consumers can pay as low as $2.89 or as high as $3.59 per gallon.
"Our network of websites shows 18 states where motorists could access gasoline below $3 per gallon today: MO, SC, TX, MS, OK, AR, VA, NM, LA, TN, AL, NJ, KS, GA, NE, IA, OH, and IN," said Patrick DeHaan, senior petroleum analyst, GasBuddy.
"If current supply and demand fundamentals remain unchanged and West Texas crude slips into the mid-$90s, then perhaps by Thanksgiving we could see as many as 33 states (two-thirds of the U.S.) with gas stations selling below $3," said Gregg Laskoski, another GasBuddy senior petroleum analyst.
AAA recently said that prices would be above $3 a gallon for another 1,000 days, but that was before the government shutdown.
The downward trend is expected to continue if the budget impasse and government shutdown drag on, reducing demand for energy and resulting in lower fuel prices. That would be a boon for drivers but also signal a weak economy.
Prices have been above $3 since Dec. 23, 2010.
According to AAA, last year fuel was the most expensive year on record, with gasoline averaging $3.60 a gallon.