Updated 10/22/2012 07:02 PM
Drivers feeling less pain at the pump
Gas prices continue to fall. AAA said the national average for a gallon of regular is $3.67, $.12 cents less than it was one week ago. Here in Albany, it's down $.08 cents to $3.95. Our Megan Cruz spoke to drivers who said they're glad for a little relief at the pump, and has more on what's fueling the drop.
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LATHAM, N.Y. -- "The cheaper, the better for my wallet," said Scott Pettinger, who works for a car rental store in Latham.
"Seems to rise faster than it drops, but it's better than going up $.08," said Tom Hirschen from Niskayuna.
"I think it's better, but it'd like it come down a little more," said Schenectady resident Lashaunda Baker.
But why this drop in the first place? Hirschen said, "There's so many different things I've heard, I really don't know."
Aaron Pacitti, an economics professor at Siena College, said there are three key factors: "World demand, Middle East politics, and the third, is U.S. refining capacity."
In this case, he said the relief at the pumps is because of a relative sigh of relief in the Middle East. This comes after an attack on a U.S. Embassy and renewed tensions between Israel and Iran helped push gas prices well above $4.
"That's largely subsided," said Pacitti. "It's not that it's disappeared, but there hasn't been another US embassy bombing. There hasn't been another threat of war between Iran and Israel so as long as these things stay muted and on the sidelines, oil will come down."
But Pacitti said these lower prices are likely short-lived.
"Soon as Ahmadinejad says we hate Israel and we're going to bomb them, they're going to go right back up," he said.
And unfortunately, here in the U.S., we have little power to change this.
"U.S. politicians could say we would support Israel if they went to war with Iran, so indirectly they do, but a U.S. policy maker could not say we're going to reduce the price of gasoline by $.20."
Which is little comfort to those on the road.
"There's nothing you can do about it. Nothing at all," said Baker. "You can cut back on a few things, but you have to fill up your tank."