RIVERSIDE — Plummeting prices greeted motorists at the gas pump Sunday, but how long that will last remains to be seen. Gasoline prices in Riverside have fallen 3.5 cents per gallon in the past week, averaging $3.55 per gallon Sunday.

The plummeting price is according to GasBuddy’s daily survey of 481 stations in Riverside. This compares with the national average that has increased 1.3 cents per gallon versus last week to $2.87 per gallon, according to GasBuddy.

Average gasoline prices on July 16 in Riverside have ranged widely over the last five years: $2.82 per gallon in 2017, $2.85 per gallon in 2016, $4.19 per gallon in 2015, $4.07 per gallon in 2014 and $4.04 per gallon in 2013.

Including the change locally during the past week, prices Sunday were 72.8 cents per gallon higher than a year ago and are 12.0 cents per gallon lower than a month ago. The national average has dropped 2.4 cents per gallon during the last month and stands 63.3 cents per gallon higher than a year ago.

Areas near Riverside and their current gas price climate:

  • San Bernardino — $3.55 per gallon, down 2.2 cents per gallon from last week’s $3.57 per gallon.
  • Orange County — $3.61 per gallon, unchanged  from last week’s $3.61 per gallon.
  • Los Angeles — $3.65 per gallon, down 1.3 cents per gallon from last week’s $3.67 per gallon.

“While just over half of the nation’s states saw average prices moving lower, the other half saw prices fall. A very mixed week as oil prices collapsed Wednesday, opening the door for a round of late-week price drops, but motorists shouldn’t be fooled- it may not last long,” Patrick DeHaan, head of petroleum analysis for GasBuddy, said in a prepared statement. “Two things are for sure in one’s lifespan: death and taxes, but you can add uncertainty at the pump, especially this summer. President Trump has talked about tapping into the nation’s Strategic Petroleum Reserve to put downward pressure on oil prices, but this would be a grave mistake and only lead to minuscule drops at the pump and only temporarily. Last week’s plummet in oil prices came thanks to Libya signaling it would resume oil exports, if there’s anything to learn here it’s that President Trump has little power over global supply and demand, and if anything, there’s few options for the President to bring real change to gas pumps: slow motorists appetite for fuels, see sustainable increases in production or slow down the abrasive and inflammatory rhetoric that spooks the oil market. Until then, there’s only one predictable outcome for gas prices for the remainder of the summer: volatile.”

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