Gas prices drop |

Gas prices drop

Susan Wood

Since the Sept. 11 terrorist attack, gasoline prices have plunged across the nation including Lake Tahoe – in line with a stable supply and plummeting demand.

The slowing global economy and decreased air travel have cut Americans a break in the last month, American Automobile Association reports.

In the past month, the average price for a gallon of unleaded, self-serve gasoline in Lake Tahoe dropped 19 cents to $1.73.

This time last year, the lake’s fuel prices cost $2.10 a gallon. In the spring of 2000, prices slowly dropped and climbed again in the summer with the exception of August’s $1.61 a gallon.

San Francisco’s fuel average came down to 9 cents to $1.91.

In northern California, the unleaded gas fell a dime to $1.70 and dropped another dime for California’s average.

Nevada’s weighed in at $1.53, with Carson City’s a penny less.

The national average is $1.35 a gallon.

“The softening of the economy and falling crude prices should keep gasoline inventories at adequate levels, and retail prices at affordable levels,” AAA Northern California spokeswoman Bronwyn Hogan said.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration said the nation’s oil consumption in September declined 900,000 barrels a day from a year ago.

Wholesale prices were $21.81 a barrel on Thursday.

This picture could change with the war, if the targets expand into Iran or Iraq.

“If (the war) did spread to OPEC countries, then that could throw a wrench into (prices),” AAA spokesman Atle Erlingsson said, addressing the volatility of the oil market.

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