How would you like an extra 100 dollars in your pocket by Christmas?
Researchers say that's likely to happen, thanks to lower gas prices. The cost for a gallon of gasoline is at a near four-year low and could continue to drop. The simple reason behind the lower prices at the pump is the market driven economics of supply and demand.
But for the here and now, Tennessee Valley motorists are enjoying the break at the pump, even if they not sure why. The cheapest price we found Wednesday in Chattanooga is the Save-A-Ton gas station on Highway 153 North, where a gallon of gas is just $2.44 a gallon.
UTC Economics Professor Dr. Bruce Hutchison says the lower prices are partly due to greater energy production and stagnant demand for crude oil.
"Getting into fracking, producing more petroleum ultimately, and when you produce more petroleum, if the demand stays the same, the price is going to go down," says Hutchison, who says he's somewhat troubled that lower gas prices haven't translated into more jobs or a better growing U.S. economy.
Suhash Patel, a co-owner of Fort Oglethorpe, Georgia's Save-A-Ton gas station, blames the fluctuating price on day traders and a downturn global demand for petroleum products.
Dr. Hutchison suggests as petroleum prices drop, so does the value of corn-based ethanol as a popular fuel additive.