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AAA says the decrease in gas prices could be temporary

Gas Prices
Posted at 10:43 PM, Apr 19, 2022

Gas prices decreased last month by about 16 cents, but AAA says the combination of increased domestic demand as we near Memorial Day and summer vacation, as well as increasing global oil prices could potentially drive prices back up to those record highs.

"We're hoping that that's not going to happen, but we're just going to have to watch this situation very closely week after week," said Doug Shupe, Automobile Club of Southern California Corporate Communications Manager.

The conflict between Russia and Ukraine in the coming months will determine if there are any drastic changes in the price of oil.

"The Ukraine war is not ending any time soon and the sanctions on Russia aren't going away," said Daniel Seiver, Cal Poly Economics Faculty.

If the sanctions are tightened and more Russian oil is restricted, it will keep oil and gas prices from falling.

AAA reported a 16 cent drop in gas prices within the last month. Seiver says though it is hard to predict what will happen with the war in Ukraine, it is likely that gas prices will stay close to where they are for the rest of the year.

"It's probably not the sign that gas prices are going to go way back down. I don't think they will, but I think it's also likely that they won't go up too much from here either," said Seiver.

The release of oil reserves into the market helped stabilize prices in the past few weeks.

"That all helped to kind of flood the market with enough supply if the prices were able to come down," said Marie Montgomery, Automobile Club of Southern California Public Affairs Specialist.

Even with the price decrease, California still has the highest gas prices in the country.

"You certainly don't want to be paying anywhere near the average, average price. In Santa Barbara, Santa Maria and Lompoc it's about $5.80 a gallon," said Montgomery.

You should aim to pay about $5.40 and below for gas given the current average price per gallon.

Experts from AAA say one way to offset these gas prices that are still relatively high is to make sure your car is in good condition with enough air in the tires, and also don't speed or hit the gas too hard as soon as the light turns green. Making these small changes can save you money.

To find the best gas prices near you download the gas buddy or AAA app.