Economy
9:00 am
Mon October 3, 2011

Gas Prices Down But Still Higher Than Last Year

Gas prices in Western Pennsylvania have dropped recently, which is typical when high summer demand slacks off, but they are also influenced by global conditions. Bevi Powell, Communications Director for AAA East Central, said Wall Street and worldwide demand affect the price we pay for gas. When summer began, oil was $113 a barrel; today it's about $80. The average price of self-serve regular gas is still more than 70 cents higher now than it was a year ago.

States tax gas at different rates, so prices vary, but Powell said even within a state there can be regional differences based on local demand, rent and volume at a particular station, competition, and how far a station is from its supplier.

When it's time to fill up the gas tank, Powell recommended looking for the best bargain with a free smartphone app or on the AAA website instead of "wasting gas while looking for gas."