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Gas prices in U.S. tumble to 2-month low, down 16 cents over past week

The added relief for drivers comes after months of hot-running inflation, which has been fueled in no small part by rising energy costs. The war in Ukraine is also affecting prices in the United States because of the disruption to world energy markets. File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI
1 of 4 | The added relief for drivers comes after months of hot-running inflation, which has been fueled in no small part by rising energy costs. The war in Ukraine is also affecting prices in the United States because of the disruption to world energy markets. File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

July 19 (UPI) -- Gas prices in the United States sank to a two-month low on Tuesday, with the national average under $4.50 per gallon, and in some parts of the country the cost is around $4.

Prices at the pump have been declining for more than a month since hitting the all-time high of more than $5 per gallon in mid-June. The drop continued Tuesday as the national average fell to $4.49 per gallon, according to AAA.

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Despite the busy summer travel season, the ongoing war in Ukraine and limited capacity at some refineries, the national average is about 2 cents down from Monday and 16 cents down over the past week. A month ago, the average was $4.98 -- and a year ago it was $3.17.

The added relief for drivers comes after months of hot-running inflation, which has been fueled in no small part by rising energy costs. The war in Ukraine is also affecting prices in the United States because of the disruption to world energy markets.

"The steady decline is due to lower domestic demand for gasoline at the pump and a much lower global price for oil," AAA said in a statement Monday. "The cost of a barrel of oil is in the mid-$90s, down from around $110 two weeks ago."

Some experts say that, despite the traditional increase in demand during the summer months, there has been a decline in demand over the past several weeks that's helped to bring gas prices down. File Photo by Mike Nelson/EPA
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AAA noted, however, that part of the recent decline is due to a decrease in demand. Summer travel demand typically picks up around Memorial Day in late May and lasts until August and September.

"Here at home, people are fueling up less, despite this being the height of the traditional summer driving season," AAA spokesman Andrew Gross said in a statement. "These two key factors are behind the recent drop in pump prices."

Experts say they expect prices to keep falling if the current balance of supply and demand remains steady.

Other factors impacting gas prices are a multitude of steps taken by President Joe Biden's administration to influence the market, such as tapping the national strategic reserve for more oil and permitting the sale of more fuel-efficient E15 gasoline during the summer months.

South Carolina has the nation's least-expensive gas at $3.99 per gallon, followed by Texas ($4) and Georgia ($4.01), according to AAA. California has the highest average at $5.87, followed by Hawaii ($5.59) and Alaska ($5.32).

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