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    Gas Prices Drop as Economy Falters

    National gas prices forecasted to hover $3 a gallon for the near future.

    DENVER, Colo. -- After a severe price spike over the summer that was compounded by Hurricanes Gustav and Ike, gasoline prices are falling below $3.00, a welcome consequence to the economic fall out plaguing Wall Street and the nation.

    Mark Larson, executive director of Colorado Petroleum Marketers, told the Rocky Mountain News that prices are expected to hold at three dollars, less unpredictable events.

    "Most of the soothsayers on Wall Street are saying that prices should hold through the end of the year," he told the paper. "But as we have seen in the past, it doesn’t take much of a glitch in the system for prices to climb upwards, and the only reason I make that argument is that refineries are operating at 90 percent capacity and any disruption—say, a fire—will affect prices in the short term."

    According to AAA’s fuelgaugereport.com, the Colorado average Monday was $3.271 a gallon. Metro-area stations were as low as $2.95 a gallon, with the Denver average at $3.234 a gallon.

    Nationwide, prices dropped 35 cents, or 9.5 percent, in the two weeks ending on Oct. 10, according to oil industry analyst Trilby Lundberg’s survey of 7,000 filling stations nationwide. The average price of regular gas fell to $3.31 a gallon.

    Bryant Gimlin, energy risk manager at Fort Lupton-based Gray Oil Co., a wholesale distributor of gasoline and diesel, told the paper that these new prices are "here to stay."

    "We are going to see lower prices from now to the end of the year, and summer 2009 will be lower than summer 2008," he continued. "Four-dollar-a-gallon gas is behind us for a while, until the economy turns around, which could take years."

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