Gas prices eventually expected to go down - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

Gas prices eventually expected to go down

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Right now, gas prices are going down in some places, but up in others. We investigated to find out why some prices are higher than others in the area.

We found out that if you live in Richmond, Chesterfield or Henrico you are possibly paying a little bit more these days because stations are federally mandated to use the summer blend of gas, which is more expensive.

$4.19, $4.01, $4.09... prices at the pump that some people are tired of spending these days.

"Completely outrageous. It's either get coffee in the morning or get gas," says Jessica Walker.

Gas may be the better choice, so Jessica can get to work. But, she's tired of seeing these high gas prices.

Here's the good news. Oil prices have dropped nearly $20 a barrel since the beginning of the month. But the price you're paying at the pump isn't dropping nearly as fast. Some places are even going up a bit.

Here's a reason why. Mike O'Conner with the State Petroleum Association says, if you live in Richmond, Chesterfield or Henrico, federal laws make these stations fill up on summertime gas blends. "The reformulated gas, which 5 to 7 cents more expensive, is coming in at this time," says O'Conner. 

That gas will be in these tanks from June 1st through September 30th. But places like Hanover and Goochland don't have this mandate and the prices there may be cheaper right now.

Also- prices at the pump are still high because oil prices were so high just a few short weeks ago, when demand was down. But change is happening now.

Experts say things should improve soon, especially if oil prices continue to drop. O'Conner thinks in some spots -- prices could be as low as $3.50 by Memorial Day.

"If we get down into that $70 range, we would be back to approaching the low $3 range, or high $2 range," says O'Conner. 

Yes. He said it. High $2 range. Much better than Jessica's pump price is today. "I think people would travel more and it would be great for my wallet."

In fact, Virginia Tourism Officials tell me that despite the high prices, their research shows people will continue to hit the road this summer season and travel just like other years. But, they may not be going as far away from home, as usual.

Copyright 2011 WWBT NBC12. All rights reserved.

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