In the run up to the Labor Day holiday weekend, North Carolinians have begun spotting gas for less than $2 a gallon.
AAA reports that as of Sept. 3, the national average price of gas is $2.44 per gallon, which is nearly $1 less than a year ago. These are the lowest Labor Day gas prices drivers will pay since 2004. Overall, travelers should save more than $1 billion on gasoline over the holiday weekend compared to 2014, with drivers saving about $15 to $25 on every fill up.
"Americans should find good deals on gas prices in most parts of the country heading into the busy Labor Day weekend,"Avery Ash, AAA spokesman, said in a statement. "It is unbelievable that drivers are ending their summer vacations with the lowest gas prices for this time of year in more than a decade."
Millions of Americans are taking advantage of low gas prices putting driving miles at an all-time high. The Federal Highway Administration estimates that driving topped a record 1.54 trilling miles in the first half of 2015. That increased driving may have an effect on the cost of fuel as higher demand can lead to higher fuel prices.
While parts of North Carolina are enjoying sub-$2 gas prices, residents on the west coast aren't so lucky. Prices in California and neighboring states are still hovering above $3 per gallon after a spring explosion at an ExxonMobile refinery. The refinery is still not operating at normal levels.
According to AAA, oil remains much cheaper in recent years because of abundant supplies. Along with concerns about the Chinese economy and the possibility of Iranian oil entering the market, strong domestic production have helped lower oil prices since June.
Save for some holiday traveling, people typically drive less in the autumn and winter, generally lowering gas prices even further. Ash predicts that gas prices in many parts of the country could fall below $2 per gallon by Christmas if the cost of crude oil remains low.