A policy expert says it's too soon to say that American
consumers will see cheaper gas prices this year.
Recently on January 11, The Associated Press reported
that drivers' annual gas bills are expected to drop for the first
time in four years, due to what forecasters are calling ample oil
supplies and weak U.S. demand. Meanwhile, the Energy Department has
stated that the average price for a gallon of gas will
fall five percent.
Dan Kish, senior vice president of policy at the Institute for Energy Research, isn't so
"One of the important things to
remember about Washington and/or people who are involved in these
various industries, they're expected to make estimates of what
things are going to cost," he points out. "They do their best, but
ultimately it's probably pretty early."
Still, Kish says the probability of cheaper prices is not out of
"We are increasing oil production in this country faster than at
any time in the history of this country because of the private
sector. Those additional supplies here at home put downward
pressure on gas prices," he says. "Provided that government can't
figure out a way to mix it up and Congress does not make any
mistakes, we do stand the prospect of some lower prices."
Heading into last weekend, the national average for regular
gasoline was actually six cents more than the same time last month.
Meanwhile, AAA's Fuel Gauge Report shows that drivers in
California and the New England states are still paying well above
the national average.