Gas prices

It’s funny how time changes the context of things. I passed a gas station last night and the price of a gallon of gas was $2.96. After $4 a gallon, it was like seeing a sign for free kittens. Funny, it wasn’t that way the last time gas was this “cheap.”

According to, the average price in the state for a gallon of gas is $3.019, and there are plenty of stations listed where gasoline is selling in the $2.85 range.

The last time the average price for gasoline in the Midwest dropped below $3 a gallon was February 2008, according to the Department of Energy. A year ago it was $2.74.

The recession is one reason for the drop. We also changed our driving habits because of the high prices. Will we change them back now that the price has dropped?

  • Joshua

    I drove my big a** SUV 85 mph all the way into work today after filling up for under $3/gallon. Yahoo!!

    Just kidding. My habits didn’t change due to high prices so there isn’t anything to change back too. Same car, same commute, same vacation trips. The $2-3 difference in my fill-up price doesn’t amount to a hill of beans.

    I have found myself supporting higher gas taxes, in effect, to keep prices high in order to change people’s habits toward more environmentally friendly transportation choices and conservation.

    Yet, look at me, I changed nothing in my habits.

  • I hope not, Bob.

    Gasoline sales in Minnesota have declined this summer, compared to the same four-month period in 2007. Use of mass transit and alternative fuel is up by double digits for the same period.

    By the way, regular unleaded is selling for $2.83 a gallon at the station nearest my home. My jaw almost hit the steering wheel when I saw the sign.

  • Tonya

    I’m only 28, but I remember filling up for under a dollar. I guess those are the “good old days” I’ll tell my grand-kids about, ’cause we’ll never see them again.

  • Tom

    Those who forget the past – are Americans.

    In the last presidential election, gas prices fell for no logical reason in the two months leading up to the election, then started rebounding after Bush’s 2nd inaugural.

    The same thing is happening now. There is no logical reason for this price drop. What would be the reason for an entire industry to do this? Complacency among the populace, hoping this encourages continuing voter apathy, perhaps.

    Status quo, you know.

  • bsimon

    “Will we change them back now that the price has dropped?”

    Nope. When gas was cheaper, people didn’t have to think much about how much it cost to fill their tank. Once they saw how much it _could_ cost, they started paying attention to what they could do to save money. People aren’t likely to ignore cost-saving measures again, until the next boom times – which are likely to be a few years off.

  • I was wondering when gas prices would come back to News Cut.

    I kept thinking, the last few weeks, about how Bob tried to get back and forth on $20.00.

    What I kept thinking is even though price is the end result it was not a fair way to measure, fill up every monday and tell us how many gallons used for the week, miles driven etc, how did tracking driving increase MPG.

    Personally I went from getting about 19-20 to regularly getting 23-25 over the last few months. Some things I now do: turn off car at bank drive though, watch miles per hours, put seat belt on then start car, and more.

  • As we are driving to North Dakota this weekend, the lower price will be very welcome.

    Via cell phone, I’ll be coordinating media coverage for the grand opening of Unity Biofuels in Mt. Pleasant, IA, which will be offering and even better deal for those who can use E85 — $1.85 a gallon.

    Surprisingly for a state with so much corn and so many ethanol plants, Iowa trails Minneosota in the number of E85 stations. With a little luck, they will reach the 100 station milestone this year. MN, in contrast, has 360.

  • Learn more about The Truth About… Gas Prices at

  • Heather S.

    My husband and I started to carpool together last October. For the last year, we’ve managed primarily with the one car.

    Because gas prices kept going up, it’s never felt like we’ve saved anything. Now that the prices are coming down, I’m hoping deflation will work in our favor.

    Maintain our salary, watch prices drop. Sounds like a nice mix. Hope it sticks.