AAA: Gas prices are falling, for now |

AAA: Gas prices are falling, for now

Retail gas prices in California, Nevada and in Truckee continue to decline, according to the latest report from the American Automobile Association.The statewide average in California is $2.29, down 32 cents from one month ago. In Nevada, the average is $2.26 a gallon, down 25 cents from November. Still, Californians and Nevadans are paying about 10 cents more than last December.”In the past week the rate of decline has slowed to just a couple of cents,” said Michael Geeser, AAA spokesman for California and Nevada. “That signals gas prices are stabilizing as the year comes to an end. But considering what (motorists) were paying for gas a few months ago, these prices appear to be more tolerable.”Average prices for gasoline in Truckee are around $2.52 per gallon.With Tahoe being a holiday destination, Geeser suggests more may travel up the hill because of the lower gas prices.”I think this holiday period, overall, across the country, numbers will be slightly up from last year and I don’t think Tahoe will be any different,” Geeser said. “When it comes to Tahoe, I think people make an extra effort to spend the holidays there. And the fact that gas prices have come down from a couple months ago will only support their trip.”Outside the Tahoe area, the most expensive average gas in Northern California is in Yreka, where regular unleaded sells for $2.49 per gallon. Reno has the highest gas prices in Nevada at $2.32 a gallon. The cheapest gas in California is in San Rafael at $2.09 a gallon and in Nevada, Las Vegas and Elko both boast the least expensive gas at $2.17 a gallon.A strengthening of wholesale gas prices is being blamed for the slowdown in declining retail gas prices, according to AAA. Given the surge of crude oil prices, it seems unlikely the national average for unleaded gas will drop below $2 a gallon, Geeser said. Oil ministers from Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries agreed this week, at least for now, to maintain production at the group’s highest-ever levels. OPEC’s announcement coupled with cold winter weather could send crude oil higher by the end of the month.”At this time of year, weather always plays a part in the price of gas. As the weather turns colder across the country, the demand goes up for energy, which includes oil,” Geeser said. “Colder than normal temperatures back east recently have driven crude oil over the $60 level for the first time in four weeks.”December gas price averagesNational: $2.18California: $2.29Nevada: $2.26South Lake Tahoe: $2.52Wailuku, Hawaii: $2.85 (nation’s highest)Bay Area: $2.22Reno: $2.32Las Vegas: $2.17- Source: AAA

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