A declining demand for gasoline leads to the lowest oil prices in years.
A gas station in Kentucky is offering fuel for less than one dollar a gallon. Found in the town of London, Spur 7 will sell you regular-octane BP gasoline for just 99 cents per gallon, the first time in years that fuel has been that cheap.
About a week ago, price tracker GasBuddy predicted that some U.S. stations would soon descend below a dollar a gallon, according to WKYC in Cleveland, Ohio. GasBuddy reported that the BP station in Kentucky was the first to hit that mark, though other stations could be close behind.
At $2.14 a gallon, today’s average gas prices across the U.S. are down 44.6 cents from last year’s average. Not all motorists are as fortunate, however. In San Francisco, drivers are paying $3.39, down just 13 cents from last year, and Los Angeles’ average of $3.32 is down just 8 cents from last year.
Regardless, falling gas prices are the result of a significant decrease in demand as more people limit their time away from home in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. And it’s not just American motorists who are limiting their driving. For example, one needs a compelling work or medical reason to be on the road in Italy, and lying about it can carry fines and jail time.
At $25.37 a barrel, crude oil is the cheapest it’s been since November 2001 (adjusted for inflation), according to investment research platform MacroTrends. Even without taking inflation into account, one would have to go all the way back to May 2002 to find cheaper oil prices.
It’s possible that cheaper fuel and a hesitation to spend time on public transportation might tempt some to travel by car more frequently. But with larger metropolitan areas ordering bars and restaurants to close and many workplaces offering telecommuting due to the coronavirus pandemic, it’s possible that gas prices will continue to fall.