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Gas prices continue 15-week decline
Average price down $1.25 per gallon in Ga. since June 10
Gas prices displayed Monday at the Parker's on Highway 80 East in Statesboro were $1.43 cheaper than prices on June 10 at the same location. Prices in Georgia and across the nation have declined for 15 consecutive weeks.
Gas prices displayed Monday at the Parker's on Highway 80 East in Statesboro were $1.43 cheaper than prices on June 10 at the same location. Prices in Georgia and across the nation have declined for 15 consecutive weeks. - photo by JIM HEALY/staff

The average price of a gallon of regular gas has dropped by $1.34 across the U.S. since hitting a high of $5.01 on June 14, while Georgia’s current average price ranks tied for third for the nation’s lowest average price.

According to the most recent reading from AAA on Sunday, Georgia’s average price of $3.17 per gallon is $2.27 behind the highest U.S. price of $5.44 in California. Hawaii, at $5.26, and Nevada, at $4.91, are the next two highest. Mississippi has the lowest price at $3.10 per gallon, Louisiana is at $3.13, and Georgia and Texas are tied at $3.17.

The price of gas in Statesboro remains consistently lower than other parts of Georgia, and at the Parker’s station on Highway 80 East, a gallon was $2.76 with a Parker’s card and $2.86 without one on Monday afternoon. Prices for both were $1.43 higher on June 10. Most stations in the Statesboro area have prices below the state average cost per gallon.

GasBuddy, a service that helps drivers find deals on gas, said prices in Georgia are, on average, 29 cents per gallon lower than one month ago — down from $3.46 on Aug. 18. The average cost per gallon in the U.S. has dropped for 14 consecutive weeks — the longest downward streak since 2015, according to GasBuddy.

Even with the recent declines, gas is still 23 cents higher per gallon in Georgia than it was a year ago and 49 cents higher on average across the United States.

“While some states continue to see gas prices trend higher, the majority have continued to decline. However, this week could change the downward trend,” said Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy. “With some issues arising in Plains and Great Lakes states as the transition to winter gasoline begins, I think we have the best potential to see the weekly trend of falling prices snapped.”

One reason gas prices have stayed lower in Georgia than in other parts of the nation is because the state tax on gas has been suspended since the state legislature approved a measure proposed by Gov. Brian Kemp in March.

Kemp extended the order through Nov. 13 and may extend it again after that.

Georgia’s gasoline price normally includes a federal tax of 18.4 cents per gallon and a state tax of 29.1 cents per gallon. A number of cities and counties also charge taxes. Federal taxes on diesel fuel are 24.4 cents per gallon, while Georgia’s tax on diesel is 32.6 cents per gallon.

Those taxes normally collect about $150 million a month that Georgia uses to build and maintain roads, bridges and other transportation infrastructure.

Analysts with AAA also forecast the almost four-month-long decline in prices may be ending.

“Less expensive crude oil prices customarily lead to cheaper gas prices,” said Montrae Waiters, a spokeswoman for AAA. “This trend has helped pump prices fall steadily for months. However, we have seen oil prices inching back up, which could impact the future of pump prices.”

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