Some states are already seeing prices below $3.00 per gallon. Prices in Missouri, for example, dipped just under $3.00 per gallon in late September. It's the first state to average under $3.00 since January.
Gasoline prices typically decline in autumn, and this year they are being pulled even lower by falling global oil prices, according to the Associated Press. By the end of the year, up to 30 states could have an average gasoline price of less than $3.00 a gallon.
Fall is when refiners are allowed to switch to a cheaper blend of gasoline for the cooler months, and driving declines after summer vacations have ended.
Refinery problems or hurricanes can halt the typical autumn price decline temporarily by reducing gasoline production. For example, a reported outage at a refinery in Eastern Canada that supplies the Northeast with gasoline is likely to push the price at the pump slightly higher in some markets over the next few days.
But by late October prices are usually well on their way lower.
Last year, the national average fell 28 cents per gallon between Sept. 1 and Dec. 31. This year, gasoline had a headstart. It entered September at its lowest level for the beginning of the month in four years - and the price of crude oil was rapidly heading lower.