Effingham Daily News, Effingham, IL

November 30, 2012

Drivers to see drop at pump heading into holidays

Jackson Adams
Effingham Daily News

EFFINGHAM — As families start traveling for the holidays, there may be a surprise at the gas pump.

    Analysts and experts agree gas prices may go down incrementally in time for Christmas, with some prices on the low end of the $3 spectrum.

    “The prices are coming down,” said Gregg Laskoski, senior petroleum analyst for GasBuddy.com. “The statewide average now is $3.52, so it’s been down about 5 cents.”

    In the coming weeks, Laskoski said he expected further decreases, particularly as families start making holiday trips.

    “It’s possible that the prices could keep coming down,” he said. “We anticipate that prices should come down incrementally. What I mean by that is, last month in Illinois, prices went down dramatically. We’re anticipating a similar lowered price in December. It should lower significantly, just not as pronounced as in the last month.”

    Beth Mosher, director of public affairs for AAA , said she also expected drivers to find a lower price at the pump in the coming weeks and said two factors generally contribute to the cheaper fuel.

    “We’ve switched over to the winter brand of gasoline and demand is down,” she said. “That’s the big factor. People just don’t buy it as much, so the price goes down.”

    Despite the price of gas encouraging some to perhaps take a slightly longer trip than usual, considerations for the weather, as well as construction and deer, need to be taken.

    “Ask yourself if the trip is really necessary,” said Josh Kauffman, a spokesman for Illinois Department of Transportation. “If it’s something that can wait for a clearer day, then just wait. Obviously, watch out for deer. This is their most active time of the year. Always just check what the weather situation is going to be. Continue to monitor weather problems and plan your days for travel.”

    Regardless of the price of gas, Laskoski said the price of gas rarely changes travelers’ holiday plans.

    “People are always cognizant of prices but as far as family gatherings go, people aren’t canceling their plans,” he said. “That just never happens.”

    Jackson Adams can be reached at 217-347-7151, ext. 131, or jackson.adams@effinghamdailynews.com.