Prices Plunge at the Pump

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COLUMBIA - Gas prices are expected to plunge 50 cents over the course of the next few weeks. 

In one week, gas prices in Columbia have already fallen 23 cents. Last week, the price of gas averaged $3.48. As of Tuesday, the cheapest gas in Columbia was priced at $3.25. 

According to an article in the USA Today, gas prices are dropping due to a rise in inventories and a fall in demand.  Since Memorial Day, gas prices have remained high because of supply shortages and refinery problems on the West Coast and Midwest. But prices have been easing this past week as inventories rise and production issues decrease. 

Tom Kloza of the Oil Price Information Service says, "Most of the country is heading appreciably lower the next few weeks." 

USA Today writer Gary Strauss thinks the drop could boost cosumer spending and influence next month's presidental race since gas prices have been a hot issue in the recent presidential debates. 

Columbia resident Jayme Wilcox says the drop in prices will help him save about $70 this week since he drives 30 miles to work each day. He plans to save the money for when gas prices rise again.