Gas prices drop below $4

From Staff ReportsJuly 27, 2008 

— The signs don't lie. Triangle-area gas prices really have dropped below $4 a gallon.

Following a national trend as the cost of crude oil drops, the average price for regular was $3.943 a gallon Saturday, down from $4.001 a gallon a month ago, according to fuelgaugereport.com, AAA's Web site that monitors gas price changes throughout the country.

The decrease follows a national trend as the cost of crude oil drops. No one knows whether the drop is a trend or a momentary blip.

Throughout the state, the average price of a gallon of regular gas was $3.948. Nationally, the average price was $3.983.

The cost of diesel in the Triangle, however, was up a penny Saturday from Friday to $4.738, a price that's slightly lower than a month ago, when it was $4.744.

The average price for gas in the Triangle peaked July 17 at $4.054 a gallon. Diesel fuel topped out at $4.80 a gallon the following day.

A year ago, regular gas in the Triangle cost $2.897 a gallon.

The cheapest gas in the state was in the Greensboro-Winston-Salem region, with an average price of $3.901 a gallon. The most expensive regular gas in the state was in Wilmington, at $3.997 a gallon.

The lower prices have folks in the Charlotte area cheering.

Michelle Williams of Charlotte filled up her white Mitsubishi Galant -- with the license plate LUVISLUV -- Saturday at a Quik Shoppe at East and South boulevards, where regular unleaded was $3.95 a gallon.

"I drove over here to get this gas," which was cheaper than stations near her home off Wilkinson Boulevard, Williams said, adding that saving only a few cents "makes a big difference."

Although it's too soon to say the decline will last, AAA spokesman Geoff Sundstrom told The Associated Press that prices across the U.S. could continue falling in the weeks ahead, dropping by another 25 cents by Labor Day if oil prices continue to slide.

(The Charlotte Observer contributed to this report.)

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