Holiday cheer: gas prices sinking to lowest levels in years


If your holiday plans involve driving to grandmother's house, you might find a bit of good cheer at the gas pump.

As KSTP reports, Minnesota's average price for a gallon of unleaded has dropped by 25 cents in a month, and is now only four pennies above the three dollar threshold. Not since January of 2011 has the statewide average fallen below the $3 mark, the station reports.

And Minnesota's price drops are typical of what's happening around the country. The Associated Press reports the Lundberg Survey released Sunday showed the national average has fallen 15 cents in three weeks and now sits at $3.22 a gallon.

Similarly, a Los Angeles Times story says AAA reports seven straight weeks of price declines.

Why the price drop? It seems mostly due to that ol' economic standby, supply and demand. According to Bloomberg, the U.S. is producing more oil than at any time since March of 1989. Drilling techniques that pull more oil out of shale formations are part of that, the report says.

The L.A. Times story also notes that demand has trailed off. Some of that is seasonal -- Americans tend to drive less in the cold weather months. And some of it is due to the use of more fuel-efficient vehicles, the newspaper reports.

There's evidence, though, that low prices may have Americans turning back to vehicles that guzzle. AOL Autos reported last week on a University of Michigan study showing the average fuel economy of cars sold in September declined. The researchers also see a drop in sales of hybrid and electric vehicles, with sales of the Chevy Volt down 32 percent compared to a year earlier.

You can look up current gas prices in your county or zip code through

Next Up

All Energy Solar Residential Installation

End 'renting' from your utility company and go solar

A solar installation is one of the few home improvements that actually pays for itself.

Byron Buxton

Twins talking contract extension with Byron Buxton

The Twins are 88-38 over the past two seasons with Buxton in the lineup.

minneapolis police

Police arrest man in connection to deadly Minneapolis hit-and-run

The victim died the scene in north Minneapolis on Friday.

Jordan Greenway

Wild's fast start vanishes in loss to Coyotes

Arizona scored five unanswered goals in a 5-2 loss.

Screen Shot 2021-03-06 at 4.12.00 PM

Police seeking tips in search for road rage shooting suspect

The incident took place in Maplewood last week.

Paige Bueckers

Paige Bueckers lands on Wooden Award list for women's college basketball

The Hopkins grad is the only freshman on the 15-player ballot.

Jamal Mashburn Jr.

Gophers fall under .500 after OT loss to Rutgers

The Gophers are under .500 for the first time this season.