Falling gas prices provide a bit of holiday relief - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina |

Falling gas prices provide a bit of holiday relief

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COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) -

In just two months, prices in the Midlands have dropped nearly 50 cents for a gallon of regular, unleaded gasoline. Some stations are now below $3.00 a gallon, but what's the cause?

There are several factors causing prices to fall, customers don't seem to care what's making it happen, they're just glad to fill up for a cheaper price.

Economists blame the decrease on falling crude prices, the winter blend is cheaper to mix, and the supply is plentiful. 

Prices below $3.00 aren't everywhere. Along St. Andrews Road, starting in Irmo, the Exxon was at $3.19 a gallon. Closer to the city at the Shell, customers are paying $3.11. At the Hess it was $3.06, and at Bush River Road and Interstate 26, the Sunoco, Raceway, Walmart, and City Gas were all at $3.02.

"In a given metropolitan area, gas prices can vary up to 25 cents, just based on kind of the competition," said Mason Ellerbe, an insurance consultant with AAA.

While prices traditionally fall this time of year, drivers know it won't last.

AAA predicts prices will begin to gradually climb again in February, when refineries again switch to the summer blend. Still compared to where prices were in October, they're glad to see some relief even if it's short-lived.

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