Metro gas prices finally drop below national average – but $2 is in sight

Some stations in Gwinnett County have dropped to around $2.15 a gallon.????

ATLANTA — Prices at the pump could return to two dollars per gallon by Christmas.

Parts of metro Atlanta are now experiencing gas wars. Some stations in Gwinnett County have dropped to around $2.15 a gallon.

GasBuddy.com says the metro average for gas is $2.40 a gallon

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The recent hurricanes in the Caribbean drove up the average price for a gallon of gas to around  $2.70 in metro Atlanta.

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Channel 2's Consumer Investigator Jim Strickland says one of his sources, an expert in the energy business, says the hurricane pricing served a purpose.

"Prices probably should not have spiked to begin (with) because the oil we have in reserves, I don't see why a hurricane would cause gas prices to go up fast," one customer told Channel 2.

Drivers statewide felt the pain of a price spike of 60 cents in only seven days and return to normalcy that took in seven weeks.

"When you think about some of the other storms and stuff that have taken place, it seemed to be about the usual amount of time," Milton said.

Milton also said the spike in gas had its own upside.

"We never really ran out like you saw in Texas, and I think a little bit of that higher price kind of helped curb that," Milton said.

Milton figures the high prices curtailed enough that a short gas supply stretched just enough.

Barbara Dixon did not drive much but she is now.

'I didn't drive much," Dixon said. "Why not? Because it was too high. The price was too high, and I live...close to here; sometimes I would just walk."

GasBuddy.com says Atlanta prices have fallen below the national average for the first time since late August, and Milton sees the downward trend continuing.

"Actually, I think we have a little bit more of a decline to go," Dixon said. "Because of the seasonal aspect of the lower demand, I think there's another 10-20 cents a gallon we could go down in metro Atlanta."

Autumn always brings weakening demand. Plus, we are now pumping winter blend, which is cheaper to produce. Milton is predicting $2 per gallon by Christmas.