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Pump prices plummeting


Local gas prices have dropped more than 30 cents a gallon in the past month, mirroring a national trend that could continue into the July 4 holiday, when more than 35 million people nationwide are expected to hit the road, according to AAA Mid-Atlantic.

One sign of better gas prices could be seen Monday at the Sheetz in Central Park, where the price dropped to $2.99 for a gallon of regular gas.

 By the end of the day, the Wawa in Central Park also had dropped to $2.99 a gallon.

Spotsylvania County resident Mark Collins took advantage of the sub-$3 gas Monday afternoon to fill up his GMC Envoy at Sheetz.

He said it’s been “a very long time” since he’s seen the price of gas fall below $3 a gallon. “I’m surprised to see it drop.”

Prices could get even better. AAA Mid-Atlantic’s Martha Meade said analysts predict that prices could drop another 5 to 20 cents for a gallon of regular by July 4.

The drop is tied to plummeting crude oil prices, which fell below $80 a barrel as of Friday, AAA reported.

Another contributing factor is that crude oil and gas supplies also are up while gas demand is down.

In the past month nationally, gas prices have dropped 23 cents. The national price has dropped 18 cents from the same period a year ago, according to AAA figures.

Motorists in Virginia have had it pretty good during the recent drop.

Since prices peaked in April, they have fallen 69 cents a gallon in Virginia, the biggest drop in the Mid-Atlantic region, AAA said.

Compared with the same time a year ago, the average price statewide has fallen 28 cents a gallon.

There also has been a big drop in local prices since the same time last year, when the average price for a gallon of regular was running in the mid to lower $3.40s, or nearly 30 cents more a gallon.

Scott Shenk:  540/374-5436