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Pump Prices Running Out of Gas - Fall Below $3 for First Time in More than Three and a Half Years

By Julia Seymour | November 1, 2014 | 10:28am EDT

America has gone from gassing up to gassing down. Breaking a record-long streak of 1,410 days above it, the national average for regular unleaded gasoline fell to less than $3-a-gallon on Nov. 1, according to AAA.

The record streak of high gas prices began Dec. 23, 2010. During the more than three-and-a-half years, gas prices surged almost to $4-a-gallon twice -- once in May 2011 and again in April 2012. Highs in 2013 and 2014 were lower, but above $3.65 per gallon. The price closed at $2.995 on Nov. 1, 2014.

The recent price collapse was good news for Americans still waiting for hearty economic rebound. As The Wall Street Journal noted on Oct. 20, "Americans' Gloom" continued. Pollsters found 65 percent of Americans thought the U.S. had taken a wrong turn. At least part of that pessimism was economic.

"Take this response from a Democrat, a middle-aged white woman living in the swing state of Pennsylvania: 'People are not buying enough. I work for a company Neiman Marcus and we sell to the richie rich. Jobs are an issue. There are none to be had in this area ..." the Journal reported.

A millennial in California said "disease" and "economy" when asked for reasons the nation is off track, according to the Journal.

Two days later on Oct. 22, CNN Money reported that even though "things are improving" Americans were "worried." CNN's own survey in late September found only 42 percent of people thought "the economy was in good shape."

According to gas price experts like Tom Kloza of GasBuddy.com, savings at the gas pump will help stimulate other consumer spending at least a "little bit."

Stephen Moore, the Heritage Foundation's Chief Economist, estimated the lower prices are were the "equivalent of a $70 to 200 billion cost saving [a year] to American consumers and businesses." Moore attributed the lower prices to the "shale oil and gas revolution" which he said was "breaking the back of OPEC."

As proof, Moore mentioned that Saudi Arabia has been pumping more oil and driving down prices. An Investor's Business Daily editorial made the same point on Oct. 20 noting, "Yes, the world economy is slowing down, and with it global demand for crude ... But a bigger factor is that Saudi Arabia is turning on the spigots. The Saudis aren't stupid. They see the writing on the wall from the shale oil and gas drilling revolution in America."

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