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Gasoline prices dropping as summer driving season approaches

By Mark Scott

http://stream.publicbroadcasting.net/production/mp3/wbfo/local-wbfo-903584.mp3

Buffalo, NY – Gasoline prices are coming down at a time of the year when they're usually skyrocketing.

A few weeks ago, there were expectations that rising gasoline prices would reach $3.40 cents a gallon by Memorial Day. But the rise in prices stalled. And today, the cost for a gallon of unleaded regular is once again under $3 a gallon at many gasoline stations in the region.

Triple A Vice President Wally Smith says there are a couple of factors at work here. One is that oil supplies are quite plentiful worldwide. And secondly, the weakening Euro has put downward pressure on the oil market.

The drop in gasoline prices is especially welcome with the Memorial Day holiday weekend now less than a week. Auto travel will account for 87 percent of all travel this weekend as 28 million Americans are expected to take a road trip of 50 miles or more. While travelers will be pleased they're not paying $3.40, Smith notes gas prices are still higher.

Last year at this time, a gallon of gasoline cost $2.50, Smith said. "Filling up that 15 gallon tank will take another $8."

Smith says more than two-thirds of those who will be traveling away from home this Memorial Day weekend will be staying with family and friends.