Motorists paying less to travel this holiday season


More than 46 million Americans are on the road this Thanksgiving weekend and are paying the lowest gas prices since 2008.  The nationwide average for a gallon of gas was 75 cents lower than it was one year ago.

That good news at the pump was released earlier this week by the national headquarters of the American Automobile Association. Though gas prices are only down in California $.36 from one year ago, that’s still fueling a spike in holiday weekend visitors and receipts for local businesses in Three Rivers. 

The price for an unleaded gallon of gas at the Visalia Costco this week was $234.9. Costco is most often a few cents lower than other retailers in the vicinity.

Demand for gasoline typically declines in November and the winter months. Barring any interruptions in the supply, prices are expected to decline even more in the first quarter of 2016.

Crude oil from major producers like Russia and Saudi Arabia are sustaining the oversupply and keeping the price of crude oil under $50 per barrel. According to NPR news reports, part of OPEC’s hesitancy to reduce supply and keep oil prices low is to ensure that oil remains competitive with natural gas and oil being recovered in the U.S. from fracking.

Other factors likely to play a role in the forecast of oil and gas futures according to the website are religious differences and political opportunism, pipeline projects, and the potential humanitarian disaster threatening Europe caused by the dislocation of Syrian refugees.

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