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Bellingham gas prices continue to tumble

Kelly Torvik of Bellingham fills the gas tank of her car Oct. 20, 2014 at the Lakeway Fred Meyer.
Kelly Torvik of Bellingham fills the gas tank of her car Oct. 20, 2014 at the Lakeway Fred Meyer. MATT MCDONALD

Gasoline prices in Bellingham have dropped an average of 20 cents a gallon in the past week and nearly 50 cents in the past month, according to the latest data from AAA Washington.

The average price for a gallon of gas was $3.37 in the Bellingham metro area on Monday, Oct. 20. That’s down from $3.57 from a week ago and $3.84 from a month ago. The data comes from AAA Washington’s Daily Fuel Gauge Report.

The last time Bellingham’s average price was this low was in December 2013.

Several stations in Bellingham are now offering gas at under $3 a gallon.

Unless something changes such as a refinery shutdown or a sudden spike in crude oil prices, local drivers should continue to see prices drop until the end of the year, said Jennifer Cook, a spokeswoman for AAA Washington. It probably won’t be as dramatic a drop as Bellingham has seen in the past month, she said. Prices tend to drop this time of year because of lower demand and the use of a less expensive winter blend.

Nationally the average price dropped below $3.10 a gallon, the lowest since January 2011, according to GasBuddy.com. According to a report by Bloomberg News, a sustained drop in gas prices could free up to $60 billion for consumers in the next year.

“The key will be what happens to crude oil prices. If it continues to go down, retail prices will go down,” Cook said. The price of crude oil is around $86 a barrel, down from $100 a barrel a few weeks ago.

Bellingham’s average price is also no longer the highest among major Washington metro areas and is currently the same as the overall state average. Seattle and Richland now have higher average prices at $3.47 and $3.39 respectively. Bremerton has the lowest average price among Washington metro areas, coming in at $3.21 a gallon.

Diesel prices also have dropped significantly in the past few weeks. The average price for a gallon of diesel in Bellingham was $3.81 on Monday, down 12 cents in the past week and down 33 cents in the past month.

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