Don’t get your hopes up just yet, though.
In an appearance on CNN’s “State of the Union” over the weekend, U.S. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm predicted a continued dip in gas prices as long as something unforeseen doesn’t happen that could impact global supplies, The Hill reported.
Granholm referred to recent data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA) estimating that the average price for a gallon of regular gasoline in the United States could fall as low as $3.78 during the fourth quarter. If so, it would be the lowest average price since Feb. 2022, when the average was $3.517 a gallon, according to the EIA.
The current national average as of August 15 is $3.956 a gallon, AAA reported. That’s down from $4.059 a week ago and $4.577 a month ago. Prices have fallen by more than a dollar since hitting an all-time high of $5.016 on June 14.
Could prices descend even further?
“We hope that that’s true,” Granholm told CNN.
But a lot has to go right — or at least not go wrong — for that to happen.
“[Prices] can be impacted by what’s happening globally,” Granholm said. “Gas comes from oil, and oil is traded on a global market. And global events affect the price of oil. But [President Joe Biden] has taken unprecedented steps to try to moderate supply and demand by releasing a million barrels per day from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve.”
One wild card is continued uncertainty over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, particularly in terms of how sanctions from the European Union and elsewhere affect Russia’s oil production. Oil experts will also keep an eye on production decisions made by OPEC+ countries, as well as the rate of U.S. oil and natural gas production.
If oil supplies suddenly become constrained again because of global events, prices for oil and gasoline could head back up nearly as quickly as they’ve recently gone down.
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