Gas pump

Gas pump

If annual trends continue, drivers will see a continued drop in gas prices as cooler months near.

Gas prices across the state remain among the lowest in the country, according to multiple sources. GasBuddy.com reports that only Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas have lower prices, with the average price for regular gas sitting at around $2.24 — lower in some places.

According to a report from AAA, prices saw an unseasonal spike in demand in recent weeks, but the Energy Information Admiration’s (EIA) latest data sets shows “gas prices are decreasing for the majority of motorists across the country as crude oil prices (WTI) remain under $54/bbl. On Sunday, the national average gas price was $2.60, just a few cents less than last week and more than 25 cents cheaper than last year, the AAA reported.

“The national gas price average has been gradually decreasing the past three weeks and we expect this trend to continue, barring any major industry or geopolitical events,” said Jeanette Casselano, AAA spokesperson. “But the real savings we’re seeing is when prices are compared to this same time last year. Drivers in some states are paying 40 cents less per gallon than they were last October.”

The lower prices could motivate more travel heading into the holiday season.

At $2.25 per gallon a 2015 Chevy Suburban getting 18 miles per gallon would let your family celebrate Thanksgiving in Memphis, Tennessee for just under $100 each way.

A trip to Naples, Florida would set you back about $87 each way in the same vehicle.

For the hometown crowd driving one of the new Volvo S60s rolling off the line in Berkeley County, you could celebrate the holidays in New York City for between $87 and $97 depending on the model you choose.

Of course travelers staying closer to home will pay far less than those in other parts of the country.

For instance, San Francisco drivers are paying an average of $4.15 per gallon — and that’s considered low. A CBS/AP report last week stated that the highest price of gas in the nation was $4.71 more than twice the price in Baton Rouge, Louisana where drivers were filling up for $2.12 per gallon.

“While gas prices nationally will ebb and flow with the price of oil, there are other factors at play on a regional and state level that have an impact on prices,” stated Matthew DiLallo, a senior energy and materials specialist with The Motley Fool, the national financial guide. “The real reason why we see such a great difference in gas prices between states is because widely varying taxes, distribution and marketing costs, and refining costs are key ingredients in the makeup of the price of gas in each state.”

Here in South Carolina, drivers are beginning to feel the effect of the Legislature’s 2017 move to increase the tax on gasoline for the first time in 30 years.

With the cost of crude oil making up only about 51 percent of the price at the pump, drivers are also paying for refining, distribution, marketing and taxes.

The trend headed into winter months shows a sharp drop in gasoline prices. In mid October of 2018, the average price of gas in Berkeley County was $2.60. Just a few weeks later on Jan. 5, the price bottomed out at $1.89 before heading back up again to a high of $2.54 per gallon on April 28.