MONEY Gas prices

$1.50 Gas Prices Are Here—and $1 Per Gallon Could Be Next

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Nation's cheapest gas is just $1.39 per gallon.

Gas prices are plunging around the country, with the national average falling in 24 out of the past 30 days, according to AAA. The price of a gallon of regular now stands at $2.04 nationally, down 14¢ compared to one month ago and 74¢ lower than this time last year. In early 2015, the national average dropped near the $2 mark but never crossed it. But AAA and others anticipate that we’ll dip below the $2 threshold within a matter of days.

Many gas stations are already well below that watermark. “Nearly two-thirds of the nation’s 130,000 gas stations now are selling that gasoline for under $2/gallon, a remarkable change from a year ago, when 0% of stations were under $2,” GasBuddy reported this week. Drivers in Michigan, Missouri, and Ohio are paying the nation’s lowest prices, with averages of about $1.80 to $1.82 per gallon. At the same time, gas stations in pricier states are keeping the average above $2 for the time being.

In some extraordinary cases, the price of a gallon of regular is much lower than that—like under $1.50. Several gas stations in parts of Texas are posting prices of $1.40 to $1.45 per gallon, according to GasBuddy. CNN reported on Monday that the nation’s cheapest gas is being pumped out of a Sam’s Club gas station in Lafayette, Indiana, where a gallon of regular costs an astonishingly cheap $1.39.

Prices are likely to get cheaper still, as earlier forecasts have called for fuel costs to keep dropping at least through the end of the year. Last week, a 24/7 Wall St. story noted that a range of factors, including increased oil refinery output, low gas taxes, and cheap oil prices due to a global surplus, “could drive the price toward $1 in some states.”

Drivers in the Midwest and Gulf states are the ones most likely to see gas prices continue to plunge and perhaps even reach the $1 mark in the weeks and months ahead. But no matter where you live, gas prices have gotten much cheaper this fall. For example, a gallon of regular is $2.38 today in Alaska, on average, compared to $3.51 a year ago. The average per-gallon price in California is now $2.70, down more than $1 compared to July.

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