The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Motorists have received a measure of relief at the gas pump for two straight weeks, with prices in metro Atlanta dropping as much as 15 cents since peaking at $3.87 a gallon earlier this month.
The good news? Prices should drop even further. The bad? Not for long.
In a spring that’s already seen prices higher than $4 a gallon, the worst is likely not over, fuel experts say.
“While it’s very likely retail gas prices will retreat further this week, it doesn’t necessarily mean we’ve seen the peak price for 2012,” said Jessica Brady, a spokeswoman for AAA, The Auto Club Group.
Gas prices could climb again in May or June depending on an array of factors that affect the world supply of oil. They include weather — namely, the hurricane season — and a May 23rd meeting between Iran and the United Nations, she said. Iranian oil is a bargaining chip in attempts by the U.S. and European nations to corral Iran’s nuclear program.
Monday (April 23) morning’s average of $3.72 a gallon is 9.5 cents cheaper than one week ago, according to Atlantagasprices.com, a website that tracks how much Atlantans pay for gas. Statewide, prices are hovering at $3.76 per gallon, down from $3.83 a week ago, according to AAA.
Analysts say declining demand from U.S. drivers contributed to the price drop. That tracks with a recent upsurge in the number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits — people who are no longer making the daily commute to work — Brady
In another report by Patrick DeHaan on Apr 27, 2012 on http://blog.gasbuddy.com/, more refineries may close in the years ahead, thanks to former President Bush signing requirements of rising use of ethanol and other biofuels each year, essentially guaranteeing farmers higher prices for their corn as more ethanol is required each year.
The issue here is essentially the government picking winners and losers- oil based refineries will lose while biofuels facilities will win- because of prior law requiring an increasing amount of ethanol use every year, which will result in a drop in demand for gasoline as its becomes replaced with EPA-approved E15.
Motorists should be prepared for higher gas prices and even more volatility in the price of gasoline as capacity of gasoline production drops due to the rising use of biofuels. Traditional refineries will suffer as conventional gasoline becomes replaced by production from ethanol and other biofuels refineries.
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