Oil Prices Expected to Drop Slowly but Surely

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Prices at the pump are expected to drop soon after crude oil prices plummeted almost 9 percent last Thursday.  For the first time since March, New York’s main contract, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) light sweet crude, closed below $100 a barrel (at $99.80 per barrel).  Experts predict that gasoline prices will being to fall steadily over the next few days.

In light of recent events, many are asking: Does Osama Bin Laden’s death have anything to do with it?  Surprisingly no, according to Daniel Yergin, Pulitzer Prize-winning oil historian and head of IHS Cambridge Energy Research Associates.  “The main things that have been changing oil prices recently is the changing geopolitics in the Middle East and the strengthening economic recovery,” he said.  With the demise of one of the most notorious Al Qaeda leaders, those politics may undergo some changes in the future, but energy experts acknowledge that it may just be too soon to tell.

UC San Diego Economics professor James Hamilton is not so optimistic.  He tells CNN that he predicts that the rising gas prices may trigger another recession.  Ten out of the 11 recessions in the US since WWII were preceded by a spike in oil prices, he explains.

According to the AAA daily fuel gauge report, the national average price for a gallon of regular unleaded is $3.985; in California, the average is $4.273; in San Diego, it is $4.278.  The highest recorded average price of gasoline in San Diego was in June of 2008, at $4.630 per gallon.  Even with the drop in crude prices this week, many expect gasoline prices to shatter records this summer.

Driving Tips to SAVE GAS:

1. Cage the Rage : We all want to be fast and furious, but the costs are simply not worth it.  Speeding, rapid acceleration, and rapid braking can cost you a lot of gas.  According to a report by, moderate drivers save an average of 31 percent, compared to aggressive drivers.

2. Go with the Flow : Driving 60-65 mph on the freeway will save you approximately 12 percent more gas than if you were to speed at 75-80 mph. Not to mention, the average fine on a speeding ticket in Southern California is $328.  Not worth it.

3. Lighten the Load : According to the EPA, your car’s fuel efficiency dips 2 percent for every 100 pounds of weight your car carries.  That said, try not to haul unnecessarily large or heavy objects in your car (friends and family excluded).

4. Keep A Full Tank: The more gas you have in your tank, the less room there is for it to evaporate when it gets warmer.

*Extra Tip:  Fill up when the temperature is cool (morning or nighttime), because the gasoline is denser when it is cold.

5. Use Cruise Control :  Let your car drive itself, as long as you steer.  Most cars will be able to conserve gas by maintaining a constant speed on the highway.

6. Reduce Idling : Even when you are warming up your car, no more than 30 -45 seconds is needed.  Idling gets 0 miles per gallon.

7. Carpool : This my seem like an obvious one, but carpooling can cut your fuel costs in half.  Plus, they can be a great way to get to know your carpoolees as well!

For more tips, please visit:

Images by Glenn Batuyong and Robert Couse-Baker and via Flickr

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