Michigan gas prices

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Gas prices in part of Michigan have fallen below two dollars a gallon.

Gasbuddy.com reports motorists in Greenville and Lowell, near Grand Rapids, are paying $1.99 a gallon. 

user futureatlas.com / Flickr

Oil prices worldwide continue to slide. Gas prices haven't been this low in five years, with Michigan averaging $2.41 a gallon.

user futureatlas.com / Flickr

This Week in Review, Jack Lessenberry and Rina Miller discuss a bill aimed at protecting religious freedom, another that would cut off welfare payments to recipients who fail drug tests, and whether Michigan’s low gas prices will stick around.


Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Michigan motorists are spending less and smiling more at the gas pump these days.

Jorge Gonzalez / Flickr

We thought about having a week dedicated to debunking conspiracy theories, but we're not Snopes nor are we The Onion.

But one theory that we just couldn't let go of, that continues to circulate, lent itself to some easy debunking.

The myth? That Americans see a fall in gas prices at election time.

It's easy to assume that there's some big conspiracy theory to make gas prices decline right before we go to the polls.

Gas prices from the past at the shuttered Logan's Gas and Deli near Battle Creek.
Mark Brush / Michigan Radio

DEARBORN, Mich. - The average price of gas statewide has dropped below $3 a gallon in Michigan for the first time in nearly four years.

Average gas prices fell 14 cents from last week and are currently about $2.99 per gallon. That's roughly 38 cents less than the same time last year.

Prices dipped below the $3 mark yesterday in metro Detroit, where the average gas price is $2.97.

A gas history report by AAA determined the average price of gas hasn't been below $3 a gallon in Michigan since December 2010. The organization says gas prices typically decline in the fall, when the industry begins offering a cheaper winter-blend and demand decreases.

Gas at less than $3 a gallon in Grand Rapids.
User: Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

 

Michigan drivers who feared they'd seen the last of gas prices under $3 a gallon are happily discovering they were wrong.

Gasbuddy.com reports the average pump price in Michigan is $3.08 a gallon – but there are some stations where gas is less than $3 a gallon.

In West Michigan, Greenville boasts the cheapest gas in the entire country; several stations in the Montcalm County town are offering it at $2.55 a gallon.

Patrick DeHaan, senior petroleum analyst at gasbuddy.com, says Michigan's gas price now stands about $.10 below the national average. 

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Gasoline prices are dropping in Michigan.   

Prices per gallon have dropped by roughly 40 cents in the past month.   The statewide average is about $3.20.

But if you know where to look, you can save a lot more.

Motorists in parts of West Michigan are now paying as little as $2.75 a gallon. By comparison, in Ann Arbor, prices are still hovering around $3.30.

Photo courtesy of Toyota

As every driver is happy to note, gas prices are down. Today you can find gas prices close to, and even under, $3 a gallon.

And just on cue, American are buying pickups and SUVs at rate that hasn’t been seen since the Great Recession began.

Believe it or not, some of that seems to be due to one man — Anchorman Ron Burgundy.

During the baseball playoffs and the World Series, Dodge released commercials with Will Ferrell reprising his Ron Burgundy character. Sales of the 2014 Dodge Durango jumped 58.5 percent as those commercials hit our TV screens.

But haven't we done this before — Americans fall in love with SUVs and pickups, only to have gas prices leapfrog back up, leaving us pining for small, fuel-efficient cars?

Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

AAA predicts that 1.2 million Michiganders will travel this Labor Day weekend.  

More than 90 percent will be driving. 

Gasoline prices took their usual pre-holiday weekend jump earlier this week in Michigan.   The statewide average is about $3.75.

But Patrick DeHaan with GasBuddy.com says that’s not too bad.

“Keep in mind last year…prices were north of four dollars a gallon,” says DeHaan, “So prices this year are about 30 cents per gallon than where they were last year at this time.”

User: Brother O'Mara / flickr

Work started on rape kit testing

When Detroit’s police lab closed three years ago thousands of rape kits were left untested.  A donation of four million dollars from the state of Michigan will go toward immediately reducing the work backlog

"Tests on a few hundred kits have already turned up suspects living all across Michigan and half a dozen other states," Rick Pluta reports.

School districts must prove budget

A new bill in the state House Legislature would require school districts to prove their funding for an entire school year.  Schools would face closure if the year’s funding could not be met. 

"Under the bill, schools that can't show they can afford to stay open all year would risk getting dissolved by the state treasurer and state superintendent. They would work with the intermediate school district to find districts nearby to accept the students," Lindsey Smith reports.

Gas prices spike

Summer gas prices in Michigan are nearing a record high due to regional refinery problems.  It may take a week for prices to stabilize and begin to decrease in Michigan and the Midwest.

Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

Motorists are within a few pennies of paying more for gasoline than ever before in Michigan.

After another 10-to-15 cent spike today, Michigan’s average price for gas stands at $4.21 a gallon. The all-time record is $4.26 set back on May 3rd, 2011.   

The higher pump prices are hurting everyone, including gas station owners.

carhumor.com

The average fuel economy for U.S. built vehicles reached a new high in May, at 24.8 miles per gallon. This is good news for drivers when gas station signs are showing prices near and above $4 a gallon.

The University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute (UMTRI) says consumers are not only being more fuel-efficient savvy, but car companies are listening.

Remove

User: Brother O'Mara / flickr

Budget awaits Governor Snyder's signature

State lawmakers passed a budget that would increase funding to local governments and schools.

"Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville calls it the best budget he’s ever helped pass.  But the budget does not include Snyder’s request to expand Medicaid or increase road funding by more than a billion dollars," Michigan Radio's Jake Neher reports.

Senate voting to protect DIA

The Michigan Senate is expected to vote today on a measure to protect the Detroit Institute of Arts. Detroit's emergency manager Kevyn Orr has warned the Institute's assets could be at risk if the city goes bankrupt. If this bill passes, the same protections would apply to collections in other museums across Michigan.

Michigan gas prices amongst highest in nation

Gasoline prices in Michigan are the second highest in the United States right now. It could be several weeks before there's any relief at the pump.

"Analyst Patrick deHaan of GasBuddy dot com says there are fewer gasoline refineries in the Midwest than other parts of the country, and gasoline commodity traders are also driving up the prices," Michigan Radio's Tracy Samilton reports.

user futureatlas.com / Flickr

As gas prices kept marching ever-upward, one thing we could always say here in Michigan was "well, at least we're not as bad as some places."

As anyone who's gassed up this week has sadly realized, that is no longer the case.

Michigan's average gas price is now the second highest in the country. Only Hawaii tops our pump prices.

AAA finds we're paying an average of $4.10 a gallon. That's up 23 cents from a week ago, and 47 cents more than the same time last year. And this comes as the national average slips a penny to $3.62 a gallon.

So what happened?

Patrick DeHaan, Senior Petroleum Analyst with GasBuddy.com, joined us today in the studio to tell us.

Listen to the full interview above.

A group of Democratic Senators in Lansing have proposed a package of bills dealing with marriage equality. We spoke with state Senator Rebekah Warren about why she thinks now is the time to bring up these measures.

And, the library you may have grown up with is changing. We took a look at the new technologies changing the way we access information and what that means for the future of libraries in Michigan.

Also, Michigan gas prices are now the second-highest in the country. Patrick DeHaan, a Senior Petroleum Analyst, spoke with us about how this happened.

First on the show, state lawmakers are considering a bill that would allow suspicion-based drug testing as a condition of welfare in Michigan. People on cash assistance could lose their benefits if they test positive for an illegal substance.

As Michigan Public Radio’s Jake Neher reported, it’s not clear how the bill would affect medical marijuana patients.

Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Michigan utility regulators say gasoline consumption is expected to decline slightly this summer compared with previous years.

The Michigan Public Service Commission's recently released summer energy appraisal forecasts adequate energy supplies and prices this summer.

The group says gasoline sales in Michigan are expected to drop about 1 percent in 2013 after a decline of almost 2 percent last year due to increased fuel efficiency and consistently high gasoline prices.

patriciarossi.com

Ah, the summer road trip.   Packing up the family and heading to the beach, a campground or the Upper Peninsula. 

AAA Michigan predicts 1.1 million Michiganders will travel more than 50 miles by car or truck between Thursday evening and Monday night.

That’s about the same number as the past two summers.

Nancy Cain is with AAA Michigan.   She says many Michiganders are forgoing the summer road trip this year.

“They’ll be traveling,” she says, “but perhaps not as much.”

Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

Gasoline prices have risen sharply during the last few days.

"GasBuddy.com" pegs Michigan’s average price per gallon at $3.85. That's up ten cents from a week ago, and it's 20 cents higher than the national average. Many gas stations are already charging $3.99 a gallon, with a few charging more than four dollars. 

Gregg Laskoski is a senior petroleum analyst with GasBuddy. He says prices are not rising because of the upcoming Memorial Day holiday.

Laskoski blames refinery problems in Indiana and Illinois for prices pushing four dollars a gallon. 

user futureatlas.com / Flickr

AAA Michigan is reporting falling gasoline prices in Michigan.  In the last week, prices have fallen about 12 cents to a statewide average of about $3.68 per gallon.

The auto club says the average is about 37 cents per gallon less than last year at this time.

The cheapest price is apparently in the Marquette area, where it's about $3.57 a gallon.

The highest average price is in the Ann Arbor area at about $3.71.

For more info click here.

- Chris Zollars, Michigan Radio Newsroom

User: yooperann / Flickr

Gas prices in Michigan are up 17 cents per gallon even though oil prices fell below $100 a barrel Monday.

Patrick DeHaan is with gasbuddy.com. He says gas prices in the Great Lakes region are between 30 and 60 cents higher than the national average.

“A rash of refinery and pipeline problems is leading prices higher as already tight gasoline supply becomes even tighter with these refinery and pipeline outages that we’ve seen in the last two weeks.”

Three refineries in Illinois and two crude suppliers to the Great Lakes region had unexpected problems, including power outages and leaks.

DeHaan expects Michigan gas prices will go back down in the next couple of weeks.

Emily Fox- Michigan Radio Newsroom