A price war in Michigan recorded gas prices as low as 47 cents a gallon on Sunday. That said, fuel prices have since returned to more normal levels.
Naval warfare, aerial warfare, logistical warfare, cyber warfare. There are as many ways to wage war as there are stars in the sky, but economic warfare is perhaps one of the most misunderstood. It's rarely as overt as bombing factories or sinking freighters, featuring more subtle, domestic maneuvers.
Gas prices traditionally take a dive come winter, as demand cools faster than the daily temperature and producers switch to the cheaper "winter blend" of gas. That, however, doesn't account for the precipitous fall in prices, with 2014's nationwide average $3.69 high point, to last week's average of just $2.79. In fact, prices are expected to dive even further in the coming weeks.
The good news, for the domestic fossil fuel types, is that US oil production went up. The better news is that more people bought hybrids, plug-ins and high-fuel-economy vehicles, theoretically cutting their gasoline purchases as a result. And yet there remains some bad news for the domestic economy, as average US household spending on gasoline neared record highs last year.
Okay, okay, okay – it's not as bad as that headline says it is. First of all, even if we did only have 53.3 years of oil left, it'd represent a 1.1-percent improvement over last year's estimate, to 1.69 trillion barrels of oil left. But more importantly, we probably have a hell of a lot more oil left than that. Of course, a lot of it comes from shale, which means fracking, which isn't exactly great for the environment. So, it's not all roses here.
At the end of the month, Missouri will begin to allow the sale of the controversial E15 fuel. Currently, most available gasoline is sold as a blend with up to 10 percent ethanol. Missouri will become the 13th state to approve the 15-percent ethanol blend to be sold at the pump.
Shell invited us to its Technology Center near Houston, Texas to learn more about its V-Power premium gasoline, and we ended up learning not only about detergent additives but also what the Internet thinks happens inside a car's engine. In Part One of the story of our visit, we tackled the Internet and the engine internals, laying out the ways in which some of your engine's parts get layered in carbon buildup because of gasoline.
Two of the most important additions to a car are also two of the most commonly ignored: gasoline and tires. Companies pour staggering amounts of money, energy and resources into designing, engineering and gaining percentile improvements in automobiles, and what they get in return from consumers is a staggering amount of "Which one is cheapest?"
Here's a welcome holiday present for motorists - gas prices may fall below $3 a gallon before year's end, with some 35 states already reporting at least one station with prices below the mark, according to a report from CNBC. That's a big drop from the current $3.25/gal national average, and it could expand.