Gas prices dip below $3 in area
Cheapest since December 2010

By DAVE RANK - Daily News

Oct. 30, 2014

Lines begin to form to fill up for gas at the Mobil gas station on Main Street on Wednesday evening in West Bend. Lea Kempfer of West Bend said she has seen an increase of customers since the price of gasoline has started lower. " More people are taking trips up north because they can afford the gas to get there now," said Kempfer.  
Photo by John Ehlke


WEST BEND - Motorists saw something Wednesday most have not experienced since December 2010: The price of regular gasoline dropped below $3.

Well, the price at gas stations in West Bend and much of Washington County was $2.99, but a tenth of a cent less than $3 is still notable.

“It was $3.09 yesterday and this morning we changed the price to $2.99,” cashier Lea Kempfer at Main Street Mobil in West Bend said Wednesday evening.

The Citgo station in Slinger reportedly was selling regular gasoline for $2.97 Wednesday while most stations were retailing the fuel 2 cents higher.

“We changed the price today (Wednesday),” cashier Mahmood Parvez at the BP station in Germantown said.

That also occurred at Marshall’s Country Corner in Boltonville, Cashier Joanne Lawrenz said.

“I can honestly say since I started driving I’ve never seen it below $3 before,” Kempfer said.

According to Patrick DeHann, a senior petroleum analyst with GasBuddy.com, “more than one-half of the nation’s gas stations offer regular gasoline at prices below $3 per gallon.”


In the Milwaukee area, GasBuddy.com reported, regular gasoline prices have dropped 37 cents in the last month.

“We were very busy all day (Wednesday),” Kempfer said, “because gas is so low and the lottery is so high.” The PowerBall lottery has crossed the $140 million threshold, she said.

Purdue University energy economist Wally Tyner said falling gasoline prices are the result of lagging economic growth in many parts of the world, the end of the summer driving season, less expensive winter gasoline and well-functioning Midwest refineries.

Also contributing to falling crude oil prices, he said in a Purdue University Extension report: abundant supplies from the increase in U.S. production of oil from shale, the return of Libya to the world market and the petroleum industry’s switch from summer to winter gasoline, which normally lowers prices at least 5 cents.

GasBuddy.com reported it gathered crowd-sourced retail data from more than 133,000 gas stations and that the last time 50 percent of the reporting stations priced their regular gasoline below $3 was Dec. 28, 2010.

“It may seem difficult to believe but gasoline below $3 per gallon can now be found at stations in 47 states,” De Haan wrote online.

With the falling prices, Americans are daily spending more than $100 million less on gasoline than they did a year ago, according to GasBuddy.com.

Ironically, gas station employee Kempfer has yet to benefit from the sub-$3 price.

“I made the mistake of filling up a couple days ago when it was $3.09,” she said. “I was so excited. I figured I’d fill up when it was so low before it went up again. Then, wouldn’t you know it, two days later it was $2.99.”