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The average gasoline price in the United States dropped this week to a level last seen in early February, before the Russian invasion of Ukraine that roiled markets and sent fuel prices soaring through the summer.
The national average was $3.47 per gallon as of December 1, per AAA data, which is below the $3.54/gal average on the day when Russia invaded Ukraine, February 24.
The current average is now less than $0.10 higher than the $3.385/gal gas price at this time last year.
Falling international crude oil prices in recent weeks have helped the downward trajectory of U.S. gasoline prices.
The Biden Administration took credit for the falling gasoline prices, saying earlier this week that “Gas prices have fallen to levels they were at prior to Putin’s invasion – down $1.50 a gallon since their summer peak.”
“This is important breathing room for American families and meets a key commitment I made. We’ll continue to do everything we can to bring prices down even more,” President Joe Biden tweeted.
The average gasoline price on Wednesday was the lowest since February 7, GasBuddy's head of petroleum analysis, Patrick De Haan, said.
De Haan and GasBuddy believe that drivers in the United States could be getting the gift of even lower gasoline prices this Christmas.
Gasoline prices could be headed to a national average of $2.99 per gallon by Christmas, De Haan said in an analysis earlier this week.
“All the metrics look very positive for motorists as this week is likely to continue seeing falling gasoline prices, with many areas falling to the lowest level since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February,” he wrote.
“It’s entirely possible the national average price of gasoline could fall under $3 per gallon by Christmas, which would be a huge gift to unwrap for motorists after a dizzying year at the pump.”
By Michael Kern for Oilprice.com
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Michael Kern is a newswriter and editor at Safehaven.com and Oilprice.com,