U.S. gas prices drop ahead of winter holiday travel

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Gasoline prices dropped in US before winter holiday trips

The national average price of gasoline fell to $3.14 a gallon this week, down 12 cents from last week and well below the summer months, according to the American Automobile Association. Now about 20 states across the country can boast an average price below $3 per gallon.

“The cost of oil, the main component of gasoline, ranges from low to medium” $70 a barrel, and that's $50 less than last spring's peak, — the association said in a statement. “Combined with low seasonal demand, fuel prices could drop a little more before they start to level off.”

The cheapest place to fill up a car is in Texas, where the average cost is $2.62 per gallon, followed by Oklahoma with an average of $2.64 per gallon, Arkansas — 2.69, Missouri — 2.71 and Mississippi — $2.74 a gallon.

Gasoline prices are dropping ahead of the winter holidays. It is expected that 112.7 million Americans will go on vacation from December 23 to January 2. Of these, nearly 102 million plan to drive.

Despite many people traveling this week, according to the AAA, there are generally fewer cars on the roads in winter due to shorter daylight hours and unsettled weather.

At its peak in the summer, the average price of a gallon of gasoline reached $5,014 nationwide, with 21 states, including the capital, Washington, filling up over $5 a gallon. At the time, gas in California was over $6 a gallon. 

Today, the national average is 54 cents less than a month ago and 16 cents less than a year ago.

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