Finally some good news about gas prices

Jordan Patton, Staff Writer

We wonder why gas prices are so quick to rise, but so slow to fall. Drivers say they’re not seeing a huge change at the gas pump yet. “It still seems pretty high to me,” said senior Vinny Mannello. Many wonder why gas prices can jump 20 cents in one day when oil surges, but they never drop 20 cents at once. “Every time gas jumps up, they might lower it a penny at a time or two pennies at a time, and then it takes forever to get back down to where it was,” said junior Mike Leone. Gas station manager Mark Hans said gas prices are falling, saying “I’ve come down 12 cents the past four days.”

   Why can’t Hans just take another 20 cents off the sign, to match the recent drop in crude oil? “I have to go by what the company tells me to do. If I was the owner it would be a different story,” Hans said. So why are oil companies slow to react to an oil price drop? Economists quoted that companies can’t afford to be left behind when raw prices are rising, whether on gas or other needs. Your best bet, if you hear about a big drop in oil prices in the news, is to hold off a couple of days before your next fill-up.That way the new oil price has time to come down to the local gas pump.

    Big drops in the price of oil last week sparked predictions that gas prices would be dropping across the county. “I don’t get to do half as much as I would normally get to do because it’s a quarter tank of gas just to get to get around town,” said junior Kayla Lucero. “That’s $15, $20 in gas just to drive down the road. “The average price of a gallon of unleaded gasoline in Florida dropped only about half a cent in the last week even though oil prices fell $17 per barrel. Some had predicted prices of $3.50 per gallon by summer, but that might not happen. “I think something like $3.70 is likely for the summer,” said junior Mike Leone.   Florida can expect  lower price per gallon in the next week or two, but it won’t be enough for some residents.” Nothing is coming down except pay; everything else is going up,” said junior Taylor Scott. $3.70 per gallon won’t help her bottom line. “It needs to get under $3,” she said.

   The reasons gas prices are so expensive haven’t changed much: Lower global oil production due to the ongoing conflict in Libya and higher refining costs in the spring and summer months are all contributing factors. New technologies are increasing the oil supply and lowering the gasoline price to around $3.40 per gallon in the winter – a price that could hold for the near future. It could be much worse, in fact. The SunCoast Energy station near the entrance to the Orlando International Airport was charging $5.79 per gallon Friday. Any price under $4 a gallon stands out these days – even if it’s only a penny below.