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Editorial: Prices at the pump coming down

If you haven’t had to fill up your vehicle at the gas station recently, you might not be aware what’s happening to gas prices.

They’re coming down.

It seems that fuel prices are at a nine-month low and are staying there. According to AAA, regular gasoline prices have dropped 25 cents per gallon since Sept. 1. That’s leaving the average price at around $3.36, which is more than 40 cents cheaper from what was the high mark ($3.79 at the end of February) for the year. If you happen to live in one of 14 favored states — unfortunately not Massachusetts or one of its neighbors — you’re paying less than $3 at the pump.

And there may be even more good news in that the price is expected to drop even more.

What’s surprising here is that that slide of pump prices has taken place even though the cost of crude oil, until just recently, has been above the $100 per barrel mark. And if the barrel price stays under $100, then that could fuel more of a decline at the pump.

“Our expectation continues to be that national gas prices are going to be falling, however, the magnitude of that decline may be somewhat limited by these high crude prices,” said Avery Ash, AAA’s manager of regulatory affairs. “There’s only so low prices can go” if crude oil stays high, he said.

Analysts say that a number of factors are contributing to the decline. They include fewer than normal hurricanes, a lessening of tension between the United States and Iran as well as what’s happening on the scene in Syria and other Middle East countries. Also our own gasoline supplies and the increase in fuel-efficient vehicles are having an impact to reduce the price.

Now, if only those transportation costs would drop as well ... but that may be wishing for too much.

In the grand scheme of things, of course, the savings we might enjoy at the pump will likely go elsewhere, for example heating one’s home. The U.S. Energy Information Administration is saying that more than 90 percent of homes in the United States are expected to have higher bills for heating costs this winter season.

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