ST. LOUIS — As more Americans are following stay-at-home orders, gas prices across the country have plummeted.
The average gas price in Missouri is $1.81 for a gallon of regular unleaded fuel, according to AAA Gas Prices. That price is 11 cents less than last week, and 66 cents less per gallon compared to this day last year. However, pumps across the bi-state offer prices much lower than that.
Rochelle Bates filled up at a station in downtown St. Louis. She compared the cheap price to sunshine on a cloudy day.
"When I was driving down I was like, is that $1.49 I see? Yes it is - I'm gonna get some gas before I head over," said Bates. "I don't remember the last time it was $1.49 -- a dollar anything."
Coronavirus concerns and stay-at-home orders only account for part of the low prices.
“The primary factors are concerns about coronavirus keeping people home plus Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and non-OPEC producers still have disagreements about future production figures,” said AAA Spokesperson Nick Chabarria said.
The price for crude oil has dropped to its lowest since the early 2000s. This accounts for nearly 60% of the prices at the pumps.
The U.S. gas supply is high, so consumers do not need to rush to fill up their vehicles. However, they should exercise more caution to stay sanitary when pumping gas.
Customers can use gloves, or wrap the pump handle in a paper towel or disposable plastic grocery bag to avoid touching shared surfaces.