Average national gas prices fall below $2; first time since 2009

Here’s an early present for the record 100.5 million Americans traveling over the Christmas holiday: the national average price of gas has dropped below $2 a gallon for the first time since March 25, 2009. Compared to last year, the prices are $.41 cents lower.

In Connecticut, a state that has the 10th highest average in the nation because of our high taxes, strict environmental regulations and the high cost of doing business here, among other things;  has seen its sharing of declining prices, too.

As of today (Dec. 21) we’re averaging $2.18, $.62 cents lower than this time last year. There’s more good news: Nutmeggers haven’t seen average prices this low since 2009.

This is AAA’s weekly survey of prices in the Nutmeg State’s four regional areas:

Greater Bridgeport/Stamford $2.26

New Haven/Meriden $2.18

Greater Hartford $2.15

New London/Norwich $2.19

Statewide average: $2.18

Gas prices have been on the decline for several reasons:

  • First, there’s an enormous oil glut with more than enough supplies worldwide to meet current demand.

  • Second,   gas prices generally fall through early winter because people drive less this time of year so it’s likely prices will continue to decline over the coming weeks; and

  • Third, the price of crude oil, the driving force of prices at the pump, had dropped dramatically this year and is averaging between $35 and $40 a barrel.

As of today (Dec. 21) 22 states have average prices under $2, with lowest in Missouri and Oklahoma with $1.77, followed by South Carolina with $1.78. Highest prices are Hawaii and California with $2.73 and $2.72, respectively.

Nationally, more two-thirds of U.S. stations are selling gas under $2 a gallon, and drivers can find at least one station selling gas for less than that price in 47 states. The most common price nationwide is $1.899 a gallon.

AAA Northeast is a not-for-profit auto club with 61 offices in Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Connecticut and New Jersey providing more than 5.1 million local AAA members with travel, insurance, finance, and auto-related services.