Drivers React to Lower Gas Prices

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COLUMBIA - Gas prices were down to $3.53 a gallon in Columbia on Monday. This is part of a summer in which gas prices are expected to lower as much as 50 cents a gallon. Gas prices were on the way to reaching $4.00 a gallon, but prices have been slowly declining for the past couple weeks, but they will fluctuate as normal during the summer months.

Several gas owners believe prices will still be rather high depending on where you are geographically. On this Memorial Day, one driver in town from Kansas said it doesn't matter what the prices are because he still plans on doing his normal traveling.

"I got my parents up in Iowa and a daughter away at school, so it doesn't matter if I fill up for cheap, or for $50 like today, I have places to go, Mark Stadtlander said. "My job also requires me to do a lot of traveling, so I have no choice."

One student was headed to Chicago after coming back to visit a friend for her birthday. She said after filling up leaving Columbia, she will fill up again before she crosses into Illinois.

"Back at home gas is so high, so I end up sharing the car with my sister so we can split costs," Erin Anderson said. "I always fill the tank up to full every time though, because I don't want to wait and then prices raise the next time."

Local gas station owners see a flaw in oil prices. They said for every 90 gallon barrel of oil, only five gallons are used for gas. The rest is used for engine oil and plastics, among other things. Owners think instead of gas prices rising, which is a small percentage of oil barrels, those other items should be raised instead. They insist though, that as long as they are making money and people will keep needing gas, they have no problems.