The average price of a gallon of gas in Nassau and Suffolk counties has dipped below $3 a gallon for the first time since about 2008, a spokesman for AAA New York said Saturday.
The price for regular gas on Long Island hit a low of $2.992 Saturday, Robert Sinclair of AAA said. A year ago, it was $3.665 a gallon, and a month ago it was $3.263.
Sinclair said year-end holiday travel projections, set to be released Tuesday, should show more drivers taking to the roads based on dropping gas prices "and other factors," including boosted consumer confidence.
Sinclair said with the amount of oil being produced in the Midwest by means of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, hundreds of thousands of extra barrels of crude oil are being pumped into the market, which is one major source of the slashed prices. And there's still room for the cost of a gallon of gas to come down.
Nationally, Sinclair said, "If the price of crude oil keeps dropping, who knows, we could see $2.40 -- $2.30 is a possibility, maybe even $2.25 at the rate we're going before the end of the year." The average price nationwide was $2.57 Saturday, he added.
But he's not celebrating -- Sinclair said New York has some of the highest statewide gas prices in the country.
"Statewide we're still at just slightly above $3 a gallon when every other state in the continental U.S. is below $3," he said.
Kevin Beyer, president of the Long Island Gasoline Retailers Association, said he's been selling a bit more gas since the prices started to drop. The low prices are good for retailers and consumers, he said.
"We're paying less for our product just like you're paying less at the pump," Beyer said. "It gives people more money in their pocket, which they can spend other places, and it seems like people make more trips, so they're using their car a little bit more and using a little more gas."
With Laura Mann