Photo by Scorpions and Centaurs
Well, it is probably a little bit of both to tell the truth. Gas has of course been taking a noticeable dip in cost at the pumps, coming down to around the low $3 a gallon range. The initial reason for the price decrease of gasoline is because right now we are currently enjoying some above average supplies of the stuff.
The gulf coast refineries have once again picked-up gas production and future prices are looking like they will be taking an even greater dip during the winter months to come. The other reason for the price cuts, is this Friday symbolized the magical day that the pumps made the switch to their winter blend fuels. These blends will replace the more expensive summer blend that has been at the pumps up until now.
What makes the winter blends less expensive?
All gas sold between the beginning of May through September 15th are required by the EPA to have certain volatile chemicals removed to reduce the amount of ozone put into the air. There is also a ruling that all gas sold between November through March contain at least 10 percent Ethanol, better known as E10. There is also other versions sold with more ethanol called E20 and E30, sold in parts of the country.
These winter ethanol blends cost around $0.10 to $0.15 cents less per gallon to manufacture than the summer blends. The reason being that there is not quite as much processing involved in their production. Currently in Denver, Colorado they are enjoying $2.89 gas per gallon in some areas and experts are saying that prices could dip down to as low as $2.50 within the next few weeks of Fall, nudging even lower towards the beginning of Winter.
While this is great news for our sinking economy, we hope that it won't make the current hype of alternative fuels and vehicles take a back seat. Stories in the news are already depicting people in their SUV's and Winnebago's by the pumps grinning from ear to ear as they chug a few gallons into their behemoth gas guzzlers!
MSNBC Cheaper winter-blend gas will bring pump relief (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/14806032/)