Gas prices drop, future rates uncertain
There’s a little less pain at the pump this week.Gas prices statewide have dropped nearly seven cents a gallon since the apogee was reached May 29. In Eagle County that high point price-wise for a gallon of regular gas was $2.32. Across Colorado the average price is now down to $1.97. In Vail, it hasn’t dropped that far. Average price Thursday for a gallon of unleaded was $2.29. Why the drop and how far will it ebb? Good question, say industry observers. “We have completed the first major driving holiday,” said Mary Greer of the Colorado American Automobile Association. “Crude oil prices have dropped and OPEC has agreed to open up the spigot a little more. We may see a period of price stabilization and possibly a future period of decline.”Crude oil prices dipped to between $36 to $37 dollars a barrel – down from last month’s high of $42. The spike in prices for gas came from a convergence of market forces that included increasing demand and a constricted ability to meet that. Greer said. “These forces came together in a short period of time. China is outbidding the U.S. because they’re thirsty. Their economy is growing,” she said. “Thirty years ago the average Chinese person was riding a bicycle. Now they’re driving cars.”Greer said she expects to see gas prices bump upward during holidays and then back down. But how far it will swing in either direction is a matter of speculation. Historically the lowest gas prices occur in the autumn, but his year, however, traditional cycles seem to be changing, Greer said. “Our lows are higher than they’ve ever been,” she said.Cliff Thompson can be reached via e-mail at email@example.com or by calling 949-0555 ext. 450.