In a towering fuel market, two Tri-Cities localities actually saw price breaks at the gas pump last week, according to the latest AAA Fuel Gauge Report.
Both Johnson City and Bristol saw prices drop in the past seven days, while in Kingsport prices increased by three-tenths of a cent, continuing a two-month trend of record high prices for the Model City.
During the survey period, Kingsport had the highest retail price for regular unleaded, with an average price of $3.51 per gallon.
In Johnson City, the average price per gallon was $3.48, a drop of almost 4 cents.
Bristol gas stations also experience a price drop, but only a marginal one as regular unleaded decreased by three-tenths of a cent with an average price of $3.49 per gallon.
While you might be frustrated by the record pace of rising gas prices these days, gas remains cheaper in the United States than many other places in the world.
In a study conducted by the AIRINC research agency and reported by CNN and Money Magazine earlier this week, gas prices in the United States ranked 45th cheapest in the world from March to April.
Currently, drivers in Aruba are paying over $12 per gallon, and most European gas stations are posting prices at $8 per gallon.
However, in Venezuela the price is currently 12 cents a gallon, while in Saudi Arabia gasoline is selling for 45 cents a gallon.
The study also shows that Americans use twice as much gasoline as drivers in Europe, where crude oil consumption has dropped since 1980.
The Energy Information Administration also notes that May 1 is the typical switchover day for many U.S. refineries to a summer blend for gasoline supplies, which traditionally raises gas prices.
The EIA’s short-term energy outlook predicts gas prices to top out at $3.73 per gallon by June.