Pump prices cheapest since July 4th

9:21 PM, Nov 12, 2012   |    comments
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Just in time for one of the busiest travel times of the year, prices at the pump are the lowest since July 4th.

On Monday, AAA reported the average gallon of gas was at $3.10 a gallon in the Knoxville area, which is 10 cents cheaper than this time last year and significantly lower than the national average of $3.43 a gallon.

"What we may see is more travelers for Thanksgiving than maybe we were originally planning when the prices were higher. So as we're going into the Thanksgiving holiday, the lower prices are definitely welcome news for those who have already made plans to travel," said Stephanie Milani, with AAA East Tennessee.

Milani said it all comes down to supply and demand. Supply was already high in the U.S. before Superstorm Sandy swept through. The wild weather helped drive demand for gasoline even lower.

"It did help kind of quelsh that demand in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic. When you're stranded, you know, you can't drive. And when you can't drive, there's not that great demand for it," said Milani.

Drivers told 10News they're taking advantage of the low prices while they last.

"I don't want to benefit on somebody else's misfortune, but any way the prices go down, it helps us here in East Tennessee for sure," said Carroll Williams.

Milani said as long as oil barrel prices stay down, prices will too. But, she added the stock market and investor speculation also play a role.

"Anything could happen to push those prices back up before the holiday. We've got a little more than a week to go so anything could really happen between now and then."

Milani noted demand for diesel is already on the rise because emergency responders are busy helping victims of Superstorm Sandy, so unleaded could catch up by next Wednesday.

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