Despite Dip In Prices, 2011 Is Record Year For Gasoline

APPLE VALLEY (WCCO) — A new survey found the typical household will have spent more than $4,100 dollars on gas this year — that’s a record. But with gas prices hovering around $3.15 a gallon, we still think we’re saving money.

Paul’s gas station in Apple Valley has had a steady stream of traffic recently. Drivers are obviously seeing the posted $3.12 for a gallon of regular unleaded as an incentive to fill up.

“I’m a struggling college student. So, I don’t really want to spend a whole bunch of money on gas to get anywhere,” said Micheal Rainey, who was filling up his gas tank.

It was only 7 months ago, in May, when gasoline almost hit the $4 mark, making it seem like drivers are saving big.

“This past year, we were kinda toying with that $4 mark, so anything below that feels pretty darn good. And $3.12 is in that range and looking pretty comfortable for us,” said Gail Weinholzer of AAA.

In reality, we’re paying more. Gas was below $3 this time last year.

“People have fairly short memories, especially when it comes to gas prices,” said Weinholzer.

This year, the typical household will end up spending a record $4,155 fueling up their vehicle, according to the Associated Press and AAA.

“That’s, like, really expensive. Like, I can’t imagine spending that much money on gas,” said Rainey.

Unrest in the Middle East throughout the year drove up the cost of oil. It wasn’t until Labor Day that prices saw a steady decline.

“It is nice relief. It’s higher than previous years, but still a really nice relief from earlier in the year,” said Weinholzer.

Now, nearing the lowest point of 2011 the timing couldn’t be better.

“This is nice, right before I go Christmas shopping,” said Beth Johnson, an Apple Valley resident.

According to AAA, 2010 was also likely the last year gas prices would dip below the $3 mark. Demand and future market projections help determine price and that’s pointing to $3.12 to be the new normal.

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