Sedalia residents are receiving a reprieve from high gasoline prices as they have continued to fall throughout the last few weeks, reaching almost below $2.
Gas stations across the city were offering gas for $2.02 a gallon Tuesday, while residents in Columbia have been enjoying prices less than $2 for several days. Warrensburg also hit the less-than-$2 mark this week, with most prices hovering just below $2 Tuesday.
According to a report from GasBuddy, which surveyed 3,940 gas outlets in Missouri, the average gas prices in Missouri have fallen 7.8 cents during the last week, and that number continues to drop, as the report stated Sunday’s average price per gallon was $2.09.
“I think it’s a good thing,” said Clyde Schwermer, of Sedalia, as he filled up his pickup truck Tuesday afternoon at Casey’s, 3050 S. Limit Ave. “I hope it stays that way for a good while.”
Schwermer said the lower prices have a positive impact on his budget, especially since he was towing equipment Tuesday for his lawn mowing business.
“(It has an impact) for any traveling and my lawn mowing business,” he said. “I don’t do a whole lot, I only do one yard other than mine, but my yard is 10 acres, so I use a lot of gas.”
Brittany Baker, an employee at the Casey’s location on Limit, said they’ve seen a “medium” increase in the number of customers since gas prices started to drop. She also said she’s heard comments on the low prices from out-of-town customers.
“It’s great filling up right now. But I was talking with some people about it the other day, and it almost proves gas gouging,” said Fawn Wilfong, of Green Ridge, who was also filling up her car at Casey’s. “They really didn’t have to have (prices) that high to bring them down that low.”
While Wilfong said she was a little skeptical of the low prices, she was still appreciative.
“I just filled up my car for $22, which made me happy,” she said. “It was costing $35 to $40 to fill up my car when it was higher, so that’s basically half price right there. It helps a lot. I have a car that gets good gas mileage and doesn’t take much to fill up; some of those people out there with bigger vehicles, I don’t know how they make it.”
Missouri citizens are seeing slightly lower gas prices than other Americans — GasBuddy reported the national average has dropped only 6.7 cents per gallon during the last week to $2.33 Sunday. According to AAA, larger cities such as Kansas City and St. Joesph are spending a little more at the gas pump with prices around $2.20, however, Springfield has prices similar to Sedalia and St. Louis citizens are spending less than $2 per gallon.
Not only are prices cheaper in the Show-Me State than some other areas of the U.S., a gallon of gas is more than $1 cheaper than this time last year, and more than 40 cents cheaper than a month ago. Those prices are expected to continue to decline due to less travel in fall and winter months, and many parts of the country can switch over to less expensive, winter-blend gasoline today, as monitored by the EPA.
According to the AAA Fuel Gauge Report, average U.S. gas prices hit a 2015 peak price of $2.80 June 15, and those prices have dropped due to lower crude oil costs and abundant petroleum supplies — the likelihood of Iranian oil entering the market and strong domestic production have helped lower oil prices since June.
The report states, “Gas prices remain relatively high compared to the cost of crude oil. WTI oil prices closed at $46.25 per barrel (Sept. 2), which was similar to the cost of oil in January. Nevertheless, average gas prices are about 41 cents per gallon more expensive than the lowest daily average in January.
“Gas prices are higher than would otherwise be expected due to high demand and ongoing refinery problems, along with the higher cost to produce summer-blend gasoline that is required in many areas. When the market is running smoothly, gas prices generally drop about 2.4 cents per gallon for every $1 per barrel change in the cost of crude oil.”
Nicole Cooke can be reached at 660-826-1000 ext. 1482 or @NicoleRCooke.