WILKES-BARRE — Wilkes-Barre’s average gas price dropped below the $2-mark overnight, the first time the region has seen gas that cheap since 2004.
According to a news release from AAA Mid-Atlantic, today’s average price for regular grade, self-service gasoline in the Wilkes-Barre region is $1.99 per gallon. That price is down four cents from last week, 20 cents from a month ago and 24 cents below prices this time last year.
The last time the area’s average gas price dropped below $2 per gallon was Nov. 4, 2004.
“Motorists in Wilkes-Barre are undoubtedly happy to see gas prices drop below the $2 per gallon mark for the first time in more than 11 years,” said Jana Tidwell, manager of public and government affairs for AAA Mid-Atlantic. “The key driver pushing prices at the pump lower has been the price of crude oil, which has dropped to the lowest level in more than a decade.”
Tidwell added that while crude oil prices are only a contributing factor in gas prices, she anticipated that gas prices “should remain relatively steady or perhaps drop a bit further” as long as the trend continues. She also said that demand for gas tends to be lower during the winter months, which also contributes to the lower prices.
“Consumer savings should continue in 2016 and the national average price is expected to remain below $3 per gallon in 2016,” Tidwell said.
Despite the lower average now, AAA anticipates retail averages are likely to increase leading up to the summer driving season as seasonal refinery maintenance gets underway this spring. Unless there are unexpected developments, AAA Mid-Atlantic said in the news release that gasoline should remain “at this relatively inexpensive level” for the remainder of the winter.