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Coming Soon To A Filling Station Near You: $1.99 Gasoline

Gas prices in Oklahoma City have dipped under $2.
Joe Wertz
StateImpact Oklahoma
Gas prices in Oklahoma City have dipped under $2.

The photo above isn't from the archives. It was taken this week in Oklahoma City, where the price of regular gas has fallen under $2 a gallon. The last time that happened anywhere in the U.S. was in July 2010.

The OnCue filling station is the first in the country to drop its price below the $2/gallon threshold.

While $1.99 is definitely an anomaly even in Oklahoma (Gasbuddy.com tells us the average for the state is $2.47), anyone who has filled up anytime in the past several weeks is aware of a pleasantly precipitous drop in pump prices. And fuel prices got much of the credit for putting more Thanksgiving travelers on the road (and in the air) than at any time since before the start of the Great Recession.

The good news: Gasbuddy's senior petroleum analyst Patrick DeHaan tells ABC News that he expects less than $2 a gallon in Houston, St. Louis and Aiken, S.C. (and, presumably generally lower prices for everyone else).

The bad news: OnCue, in a tweet earlier this week, says somewhat cryptically that the $1.99 gas is "for a limited time."

Even so, the trend is well established. ABC quotes DeHaan as saying the reason is that Oklahoma City and other cities "benefit from abundant Gulf supplies and access to cheaper West Texas Intermediate (WTI) or light, sweet crude oil. ... Lower state and local taxes, and proximity to infrastructure are other reasons these cities may see prices below $2."

It's all a far cry from July 2008 when drivers were paying a whopping average of $4.10 a gallon.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Scott Neuman is a reporter and editor, working mainly on breaking news for NPR's digital and radio platforms.
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