Columbia Gas Prices Drop Below $3.00 a Gallon

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COLUMBIA - Gas prices dropped below $3.00 a gallon, marking the first start to a work week with prices in the $2.00 range since before May. Prices began dropping to $2.99 at Columbia gas stations on Sunday, and remained there to start Monday morning.

Gas prices have been on a downward trend of late, and one reason may be the plummeting price of crude oil. It opened trading Monday under $80 a barrel for the first time since September 2010 -- nearly a year ago.

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With the dip into $2.00 territory, gas in Columbia, Mo., is now $0.51 below the national average of $3.50, according to AAA. At $2.99 a gallon, it's also more than $1.00 less than the $4.19 a gallon charged at some downtown Chicago gas stations.