With the daily average coming in at $2.732 according to AAA's daily fuel gauge report, prices have shown an overall cut of 30 cents a gallon over the last month. This lowered cost represents a 60 cent drop in the wholesale cost over the past few weeks. Consumers are now starting to see the results of this when they fill up.
"The (cost) levels that were in place were never justified to begin with," said Mark Gilman, an analyst with The Benchmark Co. "This is a bit of a return to reality." Gilman disagreed with Kloza about a speedy return to the days of two dollars a gallon stating that achieving these prices by Thanksgiving were certainly possible, though they are not likely. For that type of decrease, the cost of a barrel of oil would need to fall by about 20 dollars.
What will be interesting is how the public will react should we see a dramatic drop at the pump. Will consumers still be looking for the most fuel efficient cars on the market? Will finding the most effective ways to improve gas mileage still be a quest for consumers? Only time will tell.
Recently, a new category has been added titled Going Green that focuses more on the socially responsible aspects of energy and fuel conservation. Should the consumer's wallet no longer be the driving force behind fuel efficiency, I strongly believe that the focus on the environment and global sustainability will take over as a driving force for the average auto owner to continue searching for ways to cut down on the amount of fuel they burn. After the gas crunch in the late 1970's, the sales of smaller vehicles continued until the rise in popularity of the SUV in the 1990's. This time, the trend towards flex fuel vehicles and hybrids seem to be a growing trend that promises to continue for years to come.