Gas prices fall in Dec. at stations in Jackson
By Mark Huffman, Jackson Hole, Wyo.
December 22, 2012
Gas at more than $3 a gallon isn’t a Christmas gift, but current prices at the pump are at least a stocking stuffer.
After hitting highs this summer, prices in Jackson turned down at the end of November and have taken a sharp dive in December. Prices have fallen more than 30 cents a gallon during the month.
A drive along Broadway on Thursday afternoon found the lowest price for regular unleaded at Smith’s, which was selling a gallon for $3.19, down from a Nov. 26 price of $3.53.
Other Jackson stations weren’t far behind. By Friday, Smith’s had dropped another 2 cents to $3.17 and was joined at that price by Maverik, Shell and the two Loaf ’N Jug stores.
Exxon was still advertising at $3.29 and Shervin’s at $3.24.
All the Jackson stations were selling a gallon at more than $3.50 less than a month ago.
The Wyoming average Thursday was $3.23 a gallon, according to GasBuddy.com, an Internet gas price reporting service. The cheapest gallon to be found was for $2.69 in Casper.
The average price nationally on Dec. 19 was $3.22 a gallon, according to GasBuddy.com. That was down an average of 20 cents a gallon in December, said Patrick DeHaan, an analyst at GasBuddy.
Even with falling prices, 2012 will go on record for having the highest average national prices ever in the United States, DeHaan said.
“Some reports have been a bit too gleeful, but we’re not expecting any dancing in the streets,” DeHaan said. “Even with the seasonal price decline, 2012 is going to yield the highest average price ever paid — January through December — at $3.63 a gallon.”
GasBuddy reports that the national average in January 2011 was $2.90 a gallon. It rose from there steadily until prices broke at the end of November.
The national average for 2008 was $1.35. That rose to $2.30 in 2009, $2.68 in 2010 and $3.53 in 2011.
A national survey by GasBuddy found that gas prices and other transportation costs impact the overall economy. It found that 43 percent of respondents said they were spending less on other things as a result of higher gas prices. Fifty-one percent of the 22,000 people surveyed said they hadn’t changed their spending.