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AAA reports LI gas prices fall below $4
Regular gasoline fell below $4 a gallon on Long Island over the weekend for the first time since Feb. 27, the AAA said, as crude oil prices continued to sink on strong supplies and economic worries.
The average in Nassau and Suffolk was $3.995 a gallon yesterday morning, although mid and premium grades required by some cars remained over $4.
The new average was 5.2 cents lower than a week earlier and 27.5 cents a gallon below a year earlier less than two weeks before Memorial Day weekend, the official start of the summer vacation season.
Last week the federal government forecast that regular gasoline would average $3.79 a gallon nationally from April through September, eight cents higher than last summer’s average. Long Island prices are almost always higher than the national average.
The average for regular locally has have been falling since its recent peak on April 10 of $4.169 a gallon. Last year, the Long Island average for regular peaked on May 12 -- at $4.284 -- then fell to $3.541 on Dec. 26, then began climbing again.
The record Long Island average for regular in the AAA survey is $4.346, set July 8, 2008.
Crude oil prices have been falling on strong supplies, a lessening of East-West tensions over Iran’s nuclear program and, most recently, renewed concern over the European debt crisis.
U.S. benchmark crude oil settled yesterday at $94.51 a barrel, down $1.62 in New York trading. It has been as high as $109.77 this year, on Feb. 24. The European benchmark Brent crude, used to produce much of the gasoline sold on the U.S. East Coast, fell $1.41 to $110.85 a barrel.
Photo: Lindsey Ohland of West Babylon, gets gas at Islip Mobile, 3239 Sunrise Hwy., Islip Terrace. (April 24, 2012)