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Published: 12/13/2012 - Updated: 1 year ago

Falling gas prices fuel urges to fill up tanks

BY VANESSA McCRAY
BLADE STAFF WRITER
Toledoan Ernest Banks fills up at a Valero station on Monroe St. where the cash price for regular is $2.989. Mr. Banks said he was surprised to see prices dip as Christmas approaches. AAA Northwest Ohio reported Toledo stations averaged $3.26 a gallon early Wednesday morning, although some stations in the region could be found selling fuel for less than $3 a gallon. Toledoan Ernest Banks fills up at a Valero station on Monroe St. where the cash price for regular is $2.989. Mr. Banks said he was surprised to see prices dip as Christmas approaches. AAA Northwest Ohio reported Toledo stations averaged $3.26 a gallon early Wednesday morning, although some stations in the region could be found selling fuel for less than $3 a gallon.
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Joe Chevalier’s other car is a Hummer.

Hence the Toledoan’s motivation to pull into a Valero gas station on Monroe Street Wednesday after spotting a sign touting gas at $2.989 a gallon for cash buyers or $3.039 a gallon for those paying with plastic. He planned to purchase about 35 gallons, including gas for the smaller car he was driving and fuel to fill several portable tanks in his trunk for his Hummer.

“I always look for a deal,” he said at the central Toledo station. “Now you know why I fill up when I see the price [is] reasonable.”

In South Toledo, the cash price was $2.999 a gallon at a Stop & Go gas station on Airport Highway. Gas prices nudged below $3 a gallon at nearly a dozen Toledo gas stations for portions of Wednesday, according to price reports logged by users of the tracking Web site gasbuddy.com.

AAA Northwest Ohio reported Toledo stations averaged $3.26 per gallon early Wednesday morning, down about 9 cents from a week ago.

Gasbuddy pegged the average cost of gasoline in Toledo at $3.23 per gallon at 5 p.m. Wednesday. Prices dropped under $3 a gallon in late October at some stations.

AAA reported the Ohio average was $3.297 a gallon, and the day’s national average was $3.315 a gallon. A year ago, Toledo’s average gas price was $3.284 a gallon, and a month ago it was $3.369.

Pump prices across the nation declined steadily as demand continues to be low and inventories remain high, said April Cochran, vice president of marketing and public affairs for AAA Northwest Ohio, citing information from the AAA national organization.

Nationwide demand is expected to increase slightly as people travel during the holidays, but demand is expected to stay low in the new year “which will keep downward pressure on gasoline prices,” she said.

“On the local level, it’s really hard to predict anything. Looking at all the nationwide statistics — it will go up with holiday travel,” Ms. Cochran said.

Finding gas under $3 a gallon was a holiday bonus of sorts for Ernest Banks of Toledo. He said he bought about $15 worth at the Valero station at Monroe Street and Auburn Avenue. He was surprised to see prices dip as Christmas approaches.

“Any of the holidays it creeps up, and then it goes down after the holidays,” he said, and shared a hunch: “I believe it’s going up next week.”

Mary Thomasson of Rossford planned to buy $20 worth of $2.989-a-gallon gas on Wednesday. She said she keeps an eye out for good gas deals wherever she drives and gets excited when prices drop below $3 a gallon.

“I call family and friends,” she said. Contact Vanessa McCray at: vmccray@theblade.com or 419-724-6065.



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