Gas prices continue to plummet, Wisconsin sees the largest drop

Billy Piotrowski, Writer

In the wake of COVID-19, as well as the crude oil price war between Russia and Saudi Arabia, gas prices are continuing to fall at drastic rates across America. According to the American Automobile Association, Wisconsin has seen the largest average drop in gas prices since last week.

Wisconsin has seen average gas prices fall by 24 cents since last week, while the national average has dropped by 13 cents in the same amount of time.

Nick Jarmusz, director of public affairs at AAA Wisconsin, said that gas prices trending down is unusual for this time of year.

“[This trend] is attributable to decreased demand, globally and more recently here at home, and the crude price war between Russia and Saudi Arabia,” Jarmusz said. “The price of crude oil makes up about 60% of what we pay at the pump.”

Fears of a price war breaking out between Russia and Saudi Arabia had been present in the crude market for weeks. At the beginning of March, Russia and other major crude oil producers could not come to an agreement with OPEC about the rate at which they were going to reduce their production by.

The lack of agreement quickly turned into the price war that the market feared. Partnered with the threat of COVID-19 reducing travel worldwide, these factors have driven the price of crude to plummet to $22.43 a barrel as of March 20.

For Wisconsinites, the falling price of crude has meant a massive relief at the pump. The state average as of Monday night was recorded at $1.77 by GasBuddy.com.

Prices across the state have also fallen from week to week. According to GasBuddy.com, since last week, gas prices in Milwaukee, Green Bay and Appleton areas are down 20, 30 and 34 cents respectively.

For the Oshkosh area, gas prices are down 11 cents since last week. Some Oshkosh stations had advertised prices as low as $1.65 a gallon on Tuesday, according to GasBuddy.com.

Jarmusz said the AAA is expecting prices to continue to fall, and that there isn’t any concrete way to tell when prices will stop falling yet.

“We expect crude prices will continue to decrease in the near future, and demand will continue to decrease as more states issue stay at home orders,” Jarmusz said. “It is difficult to say how low they could go or when we might see a floor on prices.”