Gas at lowest rate since spring '04

Prices of gas tumbles for 82nd day, hits an average of $1.716 a gallon.

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By Kenneth Musante, staff writer

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NEW YORK ( -- Gas prices in the U.S. fell for the 82nd day Monday, according to a national survey of credit card swipes.

Regular unleaded gasoline slipped 1.7 cents to a national average of $1.716 a gallon from $1.733 on Sunday, according to motorist group AAA. That's the lowest average price recorded by AAA since March 5, 2004, when gas was selling at an average of $1.715.

Meanwhile average prices tabulated by market research firm Lundberg Survey pegged gas at an average of $1.75 a gallon on Friday, the lowest price Lundberg has recorded since March 12, 2004.

Gasoline prices have plummeted more than 57% since hitting a record high of $4.114 a gallon on July 17, according to AAA. Prices have fallen more than 56 cents in the past month on concerns that the global economy has seriously impacted demand for crude oil, gasoline's main ingredient.

Crude oil prices have fallen more then $100 a barrel since mid-July.

Gas is now selling below $2 a gallon, on average, in every state except Alaska ($2.705), Hawaii ($2.567) and New York ($2.068), according to AAA. The state of Missouri had the cheapest gas at $1.511, according to AAA.

Lundberg, which also tracks prices in major metropolitan areas, recorded the cheapest average price in Cheyenne, Wyo., at $1.46 a gallon, and the most expensive in Anchorage, Alaska, at $2.54.

Diesel: The price of diesel fuel, which is used in most trucks and commercial vehicles, has also dropped.

The price fell 2.7 cents Monday to a national average of $2.637 a gallon, according to the AAA survey.

Diesel prices have also fallen more than $2 a gallon since hitting a record high of $4.845 on July 17.

Ethanol: The price of E85, an 85% ethanol blend made primarily from corn rose 0.5 cents to $1.561 a gallon on average, AAA reported.

E85 can be used in place of regular gas in specially configured "flex-fuel" vehicles, but is not readily available in some states.

The AAA figures, compiled by Oil Price Information Services, are state-wide averages based on credit-card swipes at up to 100,000 service stations across the nation. The Lundberg Survey is based on responses from more than 5,000 stations.

Individual drivers may see lower fuel prices in different areas of each state. To top of page

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