MEDFORD, Ore. — If you're destined to drive for the Thanksgiving holiday, now may be a surpisingly good time to fill up. According to experts, gas prices are dropping across the U.S. this week.
The discount comes from a precipitous decline in the cost of crude oil.
"A 26% drop in the price of oil is absolutely shocking given the environment and concern ahead of the Iran sanctions that the oil market was not supplied with enough oil," said Patrick DeHaan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy. "Motorists need not be in a hurry to fill their tanks. Today's sell-off will extend and accelerate the declines seen at the pump, just in time for Thanksgiving. The best tip I can suggest is to shop around for the lowest prices as some stations will pass on the savings faster than others."
AAA says that the national average for gas prices has already dropped six cents per gallon this week to $2.81. Oregon's prices are more expensive, however — falling five cents to an average of $3.28.
According to GasBuddy, the national average has dropped 24 cents in the last month, with some states seeing even larger declines — Michigan is down 33 cents, while Delaware, Iowa, Indiana and Kentucky are all down 32 cents on average versus a month ago.
"Today's drop in oil prices will extend the decline in gas prices for perhaps several more weeks in nearly all states, at a time of year millions of Americans are preparing to hit the road," GasBuddy said in a statement. "Most states could see a decline of 5-15 cents per gallon ahead of Thanksgiving, with more to come."
As is often the case, however, Southern Oregon boasts some of the highest gas prices in the state, according to AAA's accounting. The Medford/Ashland area currently averages $3.295 — higher than any other metro area in Oregon.
Oregon has the fifth highest gas prices in the nation, trailing only behind other Pacific states. Hawaii tops the list, followed by California, Washington and Alaska.
AAA also found that the national average for gas prices in 2018 are higher than any of the previous three years.