Gasoline prices didn't factor in to Gerald Ford's plan to take a family road trip to North Carolina this past weekend, but he said he'll be pleased when he gets the credit card statement.
In the past few years, the 44-year-old Dover resident has started working from home two days a week to save money on gas. While filling his tank at the Sheetz on Carlisle Road in West Manchester Township, he pointed out two new tires and two he just had rotated, keeping his miles per gallon up to cut costs where he can.
"I have to be more mindful than 10 years ago," he said.
Still dropping: Gas prices in the area have fallen to their lowest in months and should slowly continue to decline, analysts said. And while Ford said he might not notice the day-to-day changes, he has noticed the long-term decrease.
As of Sunday, the average price of gasoline in York was $3.45, down more than 20 cents from a month earlier, according to Gasbuddy.com. Nationally, gas prices at the beginning of the month were the lowest they have been for early August since 2010, said Gregg Laskoski, a senior petroleum analyst for the website.
The low prices stem from refineries producing record-high amounts of gasoline, AAA spokesman Michael Green said.
"It's a really good situation for drivers. Many people assume that gas prices rise during the summer, but most of us are lucking out right now," Green said. "It also continues the trend we've seen for most of this year nationally."
Labor Day: The decreasing prices should continue as long as no major world conflicts or hurricanes disrupt the market, said Bob Astor, manager of public relations for Shipley Energy. Astor said there might be a small increase in prices before Labor Day, when demand increases, but he doubts it will be significant.
Laskoski said issues at numerous Midwestern refineries might push up the national average for fuel costs, but should not affect local prices. As far as supply, he said the situation in Iraq could have an effect on gas prices if it continues over an extended period of time, but it's not currently posing an issue.
"We haven't seen crude oil prices react in a significant way just yet," Laskoski said. "So I don't want to be an alarmist."
Locals just hope the prices don't start rising again.
Sheila Still from York City is only 23 but remembers paying less than $2 for a gallon of gas. She said she is more focused on miles per gallon than dollars per gallon, but she appreciates the few months' cost reprieve.
"It has really gone up in the last couple of years, but I'm glad it's going down," Still said. "It's made it a little easier."
— Reach Michael Tabb at firstname.lastname@example.org.