Cheapest cities for gas
1. Canton, Ohio - $1.91.7 per gallon
2. Henderson, Kentucky - $1.94.6 per gallon
3. Sumter, S.C., $1.95 per gallon
4. Akron, Ohio, $1.96 per gallon
5. Rock Hill, S.C., $1.96.6 per gallon
6. Sherman, Tex., $1.97.8 per gallon
7. Aiken, S.C., $1.98 per gallon
8. Cleveland, Tenn., $1.98.3 per gallon
9. Chattanooga, $1.98.9 per gallon
10. Tuscaloosa, Ala., $1.99.4 per gallon
Gas prices continued a month-long decline last week, cutting the average price of regular gas below $2 a gallon again in Southeast Tennessee and keeping Chattanooga and nearby Cleveland, Tenn., among the cheapest cities in America to fuel your vehicle.
The average price of gas fell another 1.5 cents per gallon last week to start this week at $1.98 per gallon in both Chattanooga and Cleveland, according to the gasoline price website GasBuddy.com. The decline left the two Tennessee cities among the cheapest 10 cities in America for gas, and a drop in oil prices Monday could signal further declines in prices at the pump.
Oil futures on Monday suffered their largest one-day loss since mid-January as a rising dollar and concerns over the potential for a significant climb in U.S. crude output erased last week's gains in oil prices. On the New York Mercantile Exchange, March West Texas Intermediate crude fell by 82 cents, or 1.5 percent, to $53.01 a barrel —the worst daily loss since Jan. 18.
Despite the recent decline in prices, fuel costs are still up from the decade-low prices reached a year ago. Chattanooga gas prices Sunday averaged 49.2 cents a gallon more than a year ago, when regular gas prices fell to just $1.49 a gallon.
But gas prices are still 40 percent below the peak prices reached in early February five years ago, and more than a dozen stations were selling gas in Chattanooga Monday for $1.91 per gallon.
"Gasoline prices nationally have continued their typical seasonal trajectory lower," said Patrick DeHaan, senior petroleum analyst for GasBuddy.com. "Gasoline inventories have continued to show impressive gains lately, limiting the effects of rising oil prices on gasoline prices for the time being."
Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam is trying to capitalize on the current low-price market for gas to encourage Tennessee lawmakers to raise the state's gas tax by 7 cents a gallon from the 21.4-cents-per-gallon rate the state has imposed since 1989. Diesel fuel taxes, now at 18.4 cents per gallon, would rise by 12 cents a gallon under the governor's proposal.
Haslam argues that a gas tax increase would help pay for more than $10 billion of road and infrastructure projects needed in the state and much of the tax would be paid by out-of-state drivers driving through Tennessee.
Contact Dave Flessner at email@example.com or at 423-757-6340.