By Leigh Barber
With low fall temperatures come even lower gas prices. Students and faculty alike are reveling in the newfound lower costs that have arrived in Sarasota. While a steady decline in prices has been observed since the end of summer, it is the first time gas has been sold below $3 per gallon in four years. Drivers are questioning the reason for the decrease and the United States Energy Information Administration (EIA) has released an in-depth look at why prices are at an all time low.
America’s domestic oil production has grown from 5.6 million barrels per day in 2011 to 7.4 million barrels per day last year. The good news continues; the EIA’s projected production for 2015 is 9.5 million barrels per day. Demand for fuel in the United States is declining due to newfound energy sources, but the refinery production of gasoline is rising. The refinery production increases the United States’ exports of gasoline into the global market, mostly to Africa and Asia during winter).
Although prices are always subject to change, experts are optimistic that prices will continue to decline. This is good news for all students, but it is even better for students who live off campus. Some drivers are suspicious of the change. Thesis student and Catalyst editor Skylar Ead is one of the students who remains doubtful that prices will remain the same. “Even though I’m really happy that gas prices are dropping, I don’t trust it,” Ead said. “I’ve observed that some of the biggest gas drops happen around elections and then they go up again, so I’m not holding my breath. I am debating buying a red gas can though and stocking up before [the price] goes up again.”
Commuting to class every day by car can be a hassle, especially when gas prices are abnormally high. Students with their own set of wheels are relieved by lower prices at the pump.
Third-year Kelley Thompson commutes to campus on a regular basis and has noticed a change in how much she shells out for fuel. “When I have been filling up my tank since the prices have gone down, I have been spending approximately five dollars less per tank than I normally do,” Thompson said. “Those savings add up over time!”
As long as the decreasing cost pattern continues, filling up the tank might not be as painful as it was this summer. Hopefully students will be able to keep their wallets and their tanks full throughout the holiday season.