We're sure motorists around the Upper Ohio Valley rejoiced last week when they learned that gasoline prices had hit their "summer slide."
When you look at the average price of gasoline over the past five years, which we did for July 3, you find that prices this year at $3.48 per gallon for regular unleaded are the second highest during that span. Only July 3, 2011, at $3.56 per gallon, was higher, according to AAA.
A year ago, prices were at $3.33 per gallon. In 2010, the average price came in at $2.74 per gallon while in 2009, it was $2.63.
It has been a welcome sight to see prices fall slowly over the past few months. But motorists preparing for summer travel should be looking to the Middle East and what's happening in Egypt to gauge where prices could go in the very near future.
Already, oil prices have topped $100 per barrel, with more increases likely if oil supply lines are interrupted. And the price of gasoline always follows oil.
That's what makes natural gas an attractive alternative. Compressed natural gas already serves as the power source for many fleet vehicles across the country, and the technology exists to create a filling station virtually anywhere.
Compressed natural gas currently costs about $2 for the equivalent of a gallon of fuel. That price has held steady for the past few years.
The local region's abundance of natural gas also makes such a project a wise investment.
And when you couple in reduced emissions and helping to reduce the nation's dependence on foreign oil, it makes sense to look at natural gas as an option.