It’s tax day and usually not a time for celebrating. But there is some good news at the pump and more expected looking forward to the busy summer driving season. The savings amount to giant tax break for the American consumers and businesses as well.
Today the average price across California is $3.95 a gallon – down from $ 4.23 at the beginning of March. Analysts say they expect the price to head lower. Helping to fuel the supply here is the restart of the big Chevron Richmond refinery after eight months of operating at half production levels.
There is help from the crude side. GasBuddy.com Senior Petroleum Analyst Patrick DeHaan says “Oil prices have been under attack in the last few weeks, perhaps a remarkable turn around given what is considered normal for this time of year. Today oil prices began this week by shedding nearly $2/bbl, bringing them down to $89/bbl, something that is highly unusual this time of year, but goes to show how rising domestic supply and availability may be keeping a lid on oil prices.
In fact the Energy Department is expecting a national summertime average of $3.63 – down 6 cents for last year.
“The good news is that lower oil prices will be a leading contributor to lower pump prices – now 40c/gal lower than a year ago.” says Gas Buddy.
Gas stations in the Tracy/Salinas area are selling fuel for under $3.50 a gallon according to Gas Buddy. SLO is down to $3.93 this week at one station and down to $3.75 at multiple stations in both Tulare and Fresno.
“Across the rest of the United States, prices will likely continue to slip this week. We could start to see a few $2.99s popping up in the week ahead in the south, with some $2.99’s spread around South Carolina, Texas, Tennessee, and Oklahoma.
OPIS and GasBuddy estimate that the per diem aggregate fuel cost for American motorists is at least $170-million below last year. The distance may even be greater, since GasBuddy calculates that the gap between the best motor fuel price offers and the average numbers has continued to be much wider than it was in 2012” says Gas Buddy analyst DeHaan.