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Prices at pump drop just in time for 4th of July

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Minnesotans have another reason to celebrate this 4th of July weekend: gas prices on average are nearly 50 cents less than they were just one month ago.

The average price of a gallon of unleaded in Minnesota is $3.33, according to

Gail Weinholzer, spokesperson for the American Automobile Association, tells the Owatonna People's Press that several refineries have recently restarted production, which has resulted in declining gas prices. The refineries were closed earlier this year for maintenance problems, the newspaper reports.

According to the Duluth News Tribune, gas prices on average have hit a five-month low and continue to drop not only here in Minnesota but across the nation. The national average is currently $3.49.

“Rising gasoline supplies have pushed average prices nationally below the psychologically important level of $3.50 per gallon just in time for one of the busiest travel periods of the year,” AAA spokesman Avery Ash told the News Tribune.

Although prices have dropped, they remain historically high for the holiday, topped only by 4th of July prices of $4.10 per gallon in 2008 and $3.57 in 2011.

According to AAA, 40.8 million Americans will travel at least 50 miles away from home over the holiday. That's about 300,000 fewer than last year. The AAA attributes the decline to the timing of the holiday.

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