Metro gas prices near $3

by: Jim Strickland Updated:

COBB COUNTY, Ga.,None - Gas prices in metro Atlanta continue to fall, and fierce competition is driving prices even lower, said consumer investigator Jim Strickland.

"A tankful used to cost almost $60, and today it looks like it'll be $40," said Renee Christian.

Christian was one of a myriad of drivers lined up at a Kroger on Cobb Parkway in Acworth.   The posted price of $3.15 is 15 cents below the AAA city average.  The Kroger price was matched by two nearby QuikTrips and even a locally owned Sunoco station.

"A person that comes in once, they like how you treat them. They like the prices, and then they just keep coming," said Sunoco station manager Matt Enriquez.

Strickland checked throughout the day and found a 6-mile stretch of Cobb Parkway had seven of metro Atlanta’s 10 cheapest gas stations.  Warehouse stores where customers pay for pumping privileges were not counted.

"I used to pay $45 to fill it up. Now it costs $31, which is a big difference because I'm always driving, always commuting," Sarah Pack told Strickland.

Experts told Strickland that falling oil prices send an additional signal that demand and the economy will actually be weak.

"Maybe if we go back to $2 a gallon, that means we're in a major recession. That's bad for everybody," said investment strategist Wes Moss of WSB Radio's "Money Matters."

Moss said the best hope is what he calls a Goldilocks gas price -- not too high, but not too low.