Price of gas in Connecticut falls below $4 a gallon for first time since March
Gas prices at some stations in Connecticut have dropped below $4 a gallon for the first time since March, giving motorists some cheer even as they pay 25% more than a year ago.
The average price in Connecticut on Monday was $4.22, according to AAA, but several stations were selling at a 10th of a cent less than $4. Gas sold at $3.97 a gallon on March 4, according to AAA.
A year ago, the price was $3.17 a gallon.
See-sawing prices declined as demand fell when businesses were shut to slow the spread of COVID-19. Prices rose as motorists and truckers returned to work when the virus receded. Gas surged following Russia’s February invasion of Ukraine that rattled global energy markets.
The price peaked at $4.98 a gallon in Connecticut on June 14, and has been declining since, according to AAA.
Critics blame President Joe Biden, under pressure from environmentalists, for blocking too many U.S. oil fields from drilling and keeping down supplies that lead to higher prices. Supporters credit the president for tapping the Strategic Petroleum Reserve that, with coordinated releases from international partners, shaved 40 cents a gallon, according to the administration.
Michael Fox, executive director of the Gasoline and Automotive Service Dealers of America, said prices are trending down. But he believes demand will outstrip supply, ruling out lower prices over the long term.
With demand rising due to summer travel and vacationers on the move, he said he’s surprised prices are dropping.
“Production is up, but it’s not keeping up with demand,” Fox said. “It’s eating into inventories.”
Connecticut motorists are benefiting from the suspension of the state’s 25-cent-a-gallon excise tax. It expires Nov. 30, three weeks after Election Day. The state also adopted a fare-free bus program on April 1 and expires Dec. 1, though the state is considering extending it.
Nationally, gas prices have fallen eight consecutive weeks, according to GasBuddy data from about 11 million price reports covering more than150,000 stations. The price has declined 15.8 cents from a week ago to $4.01 per gallon Monday.
That’s down 68.7 cents from a month ago but 83.6 cents higher than in 2021.
Oil was trading Monday at about $90 a barrel, down more than 25% from March, shortly after the start of Russia’s war against Ukraine.
Oil prices are at their lowest level since Russia invaded Ukraine “and could continue to see pressure from a slowing global economy, which is likely to erode demand for oil,” said Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy,