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Gas prices drop below $4 a gallon on Oahu

By Star-Advertiser staff

LAST UPDATED: 04:26 a.m. HST, Nov 23, 2012

Drivers in Honolulu have something to be thankful for. The average price of gas on Oahu dropped below $4 a gallon for regular on Thanksgiving.

The AAA Daily Fuel Gauge report estimated the average price of gas was $3.996 Thursday, about a penny less than Wednesday and about the same as year ago. The price has dropped almost 35 cents from last month.

Statewide, the average price per regular gallon is about $4.08 cents. Gas has dropped about 54 cents since April 11, 2012 when a record price of $4.618 cents was recorded. Gas prices have been above $4 a gallon in Honolulu since February.

“This Thanksgiving week we’ve experienced more price drops at the retail pump which help the budgets of locals and holiday travelers,” said AAA Hawaii Branch Supervisor Cynthia Hall. “Honolulu is a dime less a gallon than last week, and our state average is a nickel less than last year, which is also good news for everyone, too.”

Wailuku had the highest average prices at just under $4.25 a gallon. But that price is five cents cheaper than last year and 27 cents cheaper than last month. Hilo’s gas averages about $4.04 cents a gallon, down five cents from last week and 44 cents from last month.

Nationally, prices in many parts of the country have fallen recently, and AAA says gas prices could end the year lower than where they started.

The national average Thursday was $3.43, down about 44 cents from mid-September although still about 9 cents higher than a year earlier. Gas started the year at $3.28 a gallon. AAA says it should be between $3.10 and $3.30 when 2012 ends.

Still, because the price was so high for so much of the year, Americans are likely to spend a record amount for gas in 2012. Tom Kloza of the Oil Price Information Service estimates that Americans will spend about $483 billion on fuel this year, eclipsing last year’s record of $471 billion. And that’s even as Americans use less gas by taking shorter trips or driving more fuel efficient cars.

The Energy Department estimates that national gas prices will average $3.64 a gallon this year after averaging a record $3.53 a gallon in 2011.

A number of things affect the price of gasoline. It starts with the price of oil, which can be impacted by everything from the strength, or weakness, of the global economy to tensions in the Middle East. That oil is turned into gasoline and other products at refineries. The U.S. has about half the number of refineries it did 30 years ago. When one goes down due to a fire or unplanned maintenance, it can lead to a shortage of gasoline, which sends prices higher.

All of these factors have come into play in a big way this year. That’s why prices haven’t just been high — they’ve been on a roller coaster. There have been four separate swings of at least 40 cents — two higher and two lower.

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livinginhawaii wrote:
The next time you are at the pump take a look at the Hawaii gas tax percentage. Thanks to the overpaid politicians and civil servants we have one of the highest gas taxes in the nation. More politicians need to take an economics 101 class in order to understand how this significantly impacts our cost of living.
on November 22,2012 | 08:44AM
HD36 wrote:
True, we need to take a lesson from Hostess and offer them a pay cut or fire them.
on November 22,2012 | 12:19PM
iansuen wrote:
Isn't the role of deregulation and market spectators also to blame for high gas prices as well?
on November 22,2012 | 12:37PM
livinginhawaii wrote:
Speculators partially but not when looking at a long term trend. Simply compare our tax rates to all other states and it becomes very clear that there is some major political gouging going on here. Believe it or not having a refinery in our back yard actually places Hawaii at an advantage over many US cities so you have to ask yourself why are our prices are higher than those cities. In the end, its taxation.
on November 22,2012 | 02:22PM
HD36 wrote:
Fill up while you can. Won't last long.
on November 22,2012 | 11:15AM
MrMusubi wrote:
Thanks Prez Obama
on November 22,2012 | 12:01PM
HD36 wrote:
Yes, he released oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve before the election to drive oil prices down. IEAE now reports a drop of 1.7 million barrels of inventory.
on November 22,2012 | 01:40PM
Bdpapa wrote:
That don't sound good!
on November 22,2012 | 03:26PM
HD36 wrote:
Sure, gas went down, because the price of oil went down. The price of oil went down because Obama released oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserves before the elections. In fact the IEAE reported on 11/20 that oil inventories had fallen 1.7 million barrels.
on November 22,2012 | 12:18PM
false wrote:
I'll be happy, if in the next 4 years, the gas prices get back down to where they were 4 years ago.
on November 22,2012 | 03:55PM
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