Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Lower Gas Prices Fuel Relief for Area Motorists

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Lower Gas Prices Fuel Relief for Area Motorists

Article excerpt

Byline: Gregory Richards, Times-Union business writer

The lowest gas prices in nearly two months have brought relief to the wallets of First Coast drivers.

"The pennies add up," said Eric Sparrow, 32, who was filling his Lincoln Navigator yesterday at the Hess gas station on Bowden Road near Interstate 95. There a gallon of regular cost $1.37. "It makes a difference when you have a big truck like this."

He said he practically parked his Navigator during January, February and March, when prices for regular unleaded fuel peaked at a national average of $1.73 per gallon.

Yesterday, the national average was $1.506 per gallon of regular unleaded, according to AAA. The average in Jacksonville was $1.493, while it was $1.382 in Savannah, Ga., the southernmost Georgia city tracked by AAA.

Earlier this year, uncertainties with a brewing conflict in Iraq and an oil workers strike in Venezuela had oil industry experts predicting prices would continue to rise throughout the summer. Now with those anxieties gone, prices have begun to relax, save for the normally upward pressure on gas prices during the summer due to increased driving.

"My best guess is that prices will be level to slightly down for the summer," said Buzz Hoover, vice president of petroleum supply for Jacksonville-based Gate Petroleum Co.

Around the region, prices for regularly unleaded gasoline varied yesterday from $1.29 at Parker's BP on Altama Avenue in Brunswick, Ga.; to $1.39 at the BP Kwik Trip station along Blanding Boulevard in Orange Park; to $1.51 at the Gate Station at 220 Florida A1A. (Gas prices are typically less in Georgia than in Florida because Georgia has no country gas tax and has a state gas tax half that of Florida's.)

At the four gas stations off Interstate 95 near the airport, where normally the highest prices are found, the price yesterday for regular fuel was $1. …

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