What’s fueling the drop in gas prices?

LANSING, MI (WLNS) – Gas prices continue to fall across Michigan and people are flocking to fill up at the pump.

The lowest gas prices in nearly seven years – that’s what people across mid-Michigan are seeing this week.

“It’s certainly uh, impressive. Three years ago if you would have told me this would’ve been 2016, I probably would’ve thought you were crazy,” said Patrick DeHaan, a senior petroleum analyst for GasBuddy.com.

DeHaan says prices are dropping because of a slowdown in China’s economy and because here in the U.S., supply for oil is higher than the demand.

“Americans really, um, scale back their driving in the month of January and February,” DeHaan said. “Those two months generally see the weakest demand of any months in the year.”

The average cost per gallon of gas in Michigan today is $1.68, which is down more than 20 cents from this time last year. And many stations in the Lansing area are in the mid-$1.40 range.

These falling prices are great for consumers, but John Griffin of the Associated Petroleum Industries of Michigan says it’s not so great for oil and gas companies.

“The oil and gas producers are really taking it on the chin, and we’re seeing a lot of layoffs in the industry, because these kind of prices just can’t sustain the production we have,” Griffin said.

DeHaan says costs could go down another nickel or so, but, “enjoy it while it lasts because there likely will be a rebound in gas prices starting in late February or early March.”

But at least for now, the low prices are helping drivers keep a few dollars in their wallets.

Right now, Michigan ranks 12th in the nation for the lowest gas prices.

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