Fuel prices dip below $2 per gallon on peninsula

Sequim residents may notice more change jingling around in their pockets than usual.

This could be a result of decreasing gasoline prices.

Regular unleaded gas, averaging $1.99 in Sequim, is cheaper than it's been in more than two years, according to, a Web site that compares fuel prices throughout the nation. Plus, premium and diesel fuel are slightly higher, ranging in price from $2.09 to $2.79.

Gas is cheaper in Port Angeles than Sequim. Regular unleaded gas dipped as low as $1.89 at the Arco station on South Lincoln Street on Dec. 1, with the national average slightly lower at $1.82 per gallon - 94 cents cheaper than one year ago.

During the summer months, gasoline prices hovered around the $4 mark on the North Olympic Peninsula, reaching as high as $4.35 in Seattle and surrounding areas, the American Automobile Association reported.

"It has nothing to do with supply and demand," said

Sequim resident Roger Crook. "It's artificial pricing. And I find it very interesting that in Sequim prices are higher here than in downtown San Francisco."

Nonetheless, Crook said he is relieved to see gasoline prices dropping. "It's nice to see some sanity come back to gas prices," he said, adding that he's glad

Sequim gas stations are relatively the same price, a vast difference from the "gas wars" he witnessed between stations within blocks of each other growing up.

Tips to save

money on gas

The type of car or truck a person drives, how it's maintained and how he or she drives are the most important factors in both conserving fuel and staying safe behind the wheel. Here are some tips from the American Automobile Association designed to help people save gasoline and money:

• If you own more than one car - especially if one of your vehicles is a less fuel-efficient vehicle such as a pickup truck, sport utility vehicle or van - use the more energy-conserving vehicle as often as possible.

• Consolidate trips and errands to cut down on driving time and miles traveled.

• Find one location where you can take care of banking, grocery shopping and other chores. "Comparison shop" by phone, online or through newspaper ads.

• Slow down. The faster a vehicle travels, the more fuel it burns.

• Avoid quick starts and sudden stops. This wastes fuel, is harder on vehicle components and increases the odds of a traffic crash.

• Lighten the load. Don't haul extra weight in the passenger compartment, trunk or cargo area of your vehicle. A heavier vehicle uses more gasoline.

• Keep your eyes open for low fuel prices but don't waste gas driving to a distant filling station to save a few cents.

• Stick to a routine maintenance schedule. Keeping tires inflated, moving components properly lubricated and ignition and emission systems operating properly will help ensure maximum fuel efficiency and extend the life of your vehicle.

• Know the correct starting procedure for your car. Don't race a cold engine to warm it up or allow it to idle for an extended time. Avoid rapid acceleration until the engine temperature is in the normal range. The engine will warm up faster under a light load and emissions equipment will begin to function sooner.

• Maintain steady speeds for the best fuel economy. A car uses extra fuel when it accelerates.

• Minimize the need to brake by anticipating traffic conditions. Be alert for slowdowns and red lights ahead of you and decelerate by coasting whenever possible.

• Travel at moderate speeds on the open road. Higher speeds require more fuel to overcome air resistance. Remember, however, speeds slower than the flow of traffic can create a traffic hazard.

• Use the air conditioner conservatively. Most air conditioners have an "economy" or "recirculation" setting that reduces the amount of hot outside air that must be chilled. Both settings can reduce the air-conditioning load - and save gas.

National averages, according

to the American Automobile Association:

Vehicle fuel efficiency: 24.4 miles per gallon

Miles driven per day: 29

Minutes spent driving per day: 55

Household incomes spent on transportation: 19 percent

U.S. households that own two or more vehicles: 65 percent

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