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Western PA Gas Prices Falling, Expected to Continue Downward Trend

Gasoline prices have fallen about 8 cents this week compared to last.

The average price for a gallon of regular unleaded is $3.56 per gallon, while the national average is $3.52.

AAA East Central said there are several reasons for the price decline.

“One thing is they were very high coming into the winter season, and typically they’re lower during the winter,” said spokeswoman Bevi Powell. “We had a lot of refinery issues at that time that made the prices higher.”

Plus, demand is down and oil prices are down about 14 percent year over year. The falling prices are expected to continue for the next several weeks, barring any issues for refineries.

“For example, if a storm or something causes a problem at a refinery, you may have noticed some of the prices in neighboring states are going up," Powell said. "The Midwest has experienced some problems with some of their refineries. Ohio’s gas prices have jumped 28 cents week over week. If something affects the supply that drives the prices up.”

Other states to experience the sharp price jump are Indiana, Michigan and Illinois.

While gas prices in the region are expected to continue to fall in the coming weeks, they typically begin to rise again as summer approaches and during the summer months.

“Summer blends are a little bit more expensive to manufacture,” said Powell. “A lot of it depends on demand – how many people are out and about and using the gas, and what’s happening with oil and demand overseas, too.”

Pennsylvania ranks 24th in the nation for the state average price of gasoline. The lowest gas prices in the nation can be found in Wyoming at $3.34. The highest are in Hawaii at $4.36.

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