Gas prices drop for Memorial Day weekend

Chelsea Davis

Just in time for the holiday weekend, gas prices are dropping.

While many Americans would expect gas prices to rise in time for the Memorial Day weekend, this year is different.

“We’ve seen a 9 cent drop since Monday morning,” said Mark Hansen, owner of Hansen-Sinclair, 105 E. Lincoln Way, on Tuesday. “In past years, there has been a 10 cent increase compared to this year’s 10 cent decrease. That 20 cent swing is significant in the gas business.”

John Miranowski, professor of economics, said gas prices are driven by the demand for oil, and the price of crude oil is dropping fast on the international market.

“When the price of crude oil drops, the price of gas follows,” Miranowski said. “It depends on a number of factors, including dropping prices in Europe and their financial crisis.”

As of Tuesday afternoon, the average price of gas in Ames was $2.716 per gallon, compared to $2.453 per gallon at this time last year, according to the American Automobile Association.

The lowest price of gas in Ames as of Tuesday afternoon was $2.599 at Kum & Go, 111 Duff Ave.

“Contrary to everybody’s belief that going into a holiday gas prices tend to go up, gas prices are definitely dropping down,” Hansen said. “I hope it means there will be an increase in business and that people will be more willing to travel.”

Hansen said consumers are “looking for any way they can to save a few bucks, whether it’s at the pump or at the grocery store.”

The largest drop in gasoline prices is occurring in the Midwest, according to AAA.

As of Tuesday afternoon, gas prices have dropped 11 cents from a week ago, now at an average of $2.694.

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