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Gas price decreases may benefit students

Georgia gas prices have been following the national trend as average retail gas costs rapidly decreased.

This trend is shown through fuel prices in the AAA’s Daily Fuel Gauge Report, which is updated by the Oil Price Information Service.

As of Oct. 22, Fulton County’s average price for regular gas was $3.052 and in Georgia the same type of gas cost averaged to $2.996. Nationally the average is $3.086, according to the website.

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Last year the month’s average gas price in Atlanta was $3.295, which is $.299 more than the current pricing, according to a Georgia fuel prices chart by AAA Fuel Gauge Report.

The current average for gas prices in Georgia is also lower than the national average, according to the graph.

One of the factors attributing to the decreasing prices of gas across the nation is the recent domestic production of natural gases by the U.S., according to the White House website.

Approximately 83 percent of Georgia State students live off campus and commute to class, according to U.S. News.

Rajeev Dhawan, the director of Economic Forecasting Center at the Robinson College of Business, said the decrease in retail gas sales will be beneficial to students.

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“It’s much more helpful to a student whose income is much lower to somebody who is already working and is a part of a two member family,” Dhawan said. “For most students it is going to be a much bigger number. And when they save, they will have a little bit more in their pocket to spend on food and going out, which will be a slight boost to the economy.”

He also said the decreasing retail gas prices in the U.S. will not have much of an effect on the economy as a whole.

“For the economy, the effect is not going to be that big. For other people, the costs of mortgage and bills are much bigger, so energy from the economy as a whole is not that big in proportion to this income,” Dhawan said. “How much money you are going to be saving is a little bit more, but it isn’t that much that it is going to change your behavior. People have already changed their behavior since gas prices increased five years ago.”

Student Marisa Lazenby said she usually spends a half hour driving to or from campus and spends about $40 a week on gas alone.

“The amount I spend is getting lower, but the price change isn’t really affecting the amount of gas I get. I just buy gas from where it is convenient, but I will definitely spend more if I am saving money,” Lazenby said.

Georgia State graduate student Valery Deritis said she travels from Marietta to the university but doesn’t pay much attention to gas price.

“I got gas this morning and it was a little over $3 but I don’t pay much attention to gas prices. I get gas at Sam’s Club so it’s generally cheaper,” Deritis said.

Deritis also said she does not change her spending habits based on gas prices.

“…I change my driving habits. So, if it is more expensive I will try to drive less with my car or take my fiance’s car and try to alternate,” she said.

Georgia is ranked the 29th state for energy production and contributes .7 percent, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). Georgia is also ranked at No. 32 in consumption per capita.

Georgia is also one of the only states with a consumption of energy towards households under the national average, according to 2012 Residential Energy Consumption Survey from EIA. Approximately 30 percent of energy is spent heating and 10 percent towards air conditioning.

Higher regular gas prices averaged above $3.333 and were found in the west coast and the northeast, according to a U.S. National Gas Price Heat Map.

The current gas price average of 3.086 nationwide is a total of $.258 lower than the last year’s average, as reported by the AAA Daily Fuel Gauge Report.

Dependence on foreign natural resources is at a two-decade low and continuously declining, according to the White House website.

“America is producing more oil, gas, and renewable energy, and the U.S. is becoming more energy efficient overall,” the website stated.

The EIA website has projected the average retail price for 2015 to be $3.38.

“If realized, the 2015 forecast would be the highest annual average crude oil production since 1970,” the website states.