If current trends continue, gas prices in Tampa Bay may drop below the psychologically meaningful barrier of $3 per gallon by Halloween. Unfortunately, that’s due to a mix of good reasons and bad reasons.
On the good side, prices are falling because there have been no monster-sized storms disrupting petroleum production in the Gulf of Mexico. That helps keep inventories high, which eventually helps push down prices at the pump. That dynamic has helped pull gas prices down from a high of near $4 a gallon in February for a gallon of regular unleaded to about $3.20 now, and prices are now 40 cents a gallon cheaper than this time last year.
“Motorists would have most likely seen gas prices drop even more from last week had [tropical storm] Karen not caused Gulf refineries to make precautionary shutdowns,” said Jessica Brady, spokeswoman for AAA Auto Club South.