Dropping gas prices have drivers pumped to pump in Columbia

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COLUMBIA -  Gas prices in Columbia are falling further below two dollars and show no signs of going back up.

The American Automobile Association said December 22 marked a record 88 days in a row of decline in the national average gas price since the organization started tracking it fifteen years ago.

The AAA also said as of December 24, Missouri had the lowest average gas price in the country at $2.02.

Columbia's price per gallon, which was as little as $1.95 Thursday, is one of the lowest in mid-Missouri.

"I'm 23, and I can't remember gas prices being this low since I started driving," Columbia resident Sam Brown said.

Columbia drivers are not the only people capitalizing on their dropping prices. Jim Crooks, of Moberly, made sure to fill his tank at a station off of Providence Road the morning after he heard gas was less than two dollars per gallon in Columbia.

"I do a lot of traveling around mid-Missouri and this is definitely the cheapest I've seen this week," Crooks said.

The last time gas has been below two dollars in Columbia was in 2009, according to Gasbuddy.com. The U.S. Energy Information Administration shows the average cost for a gallon of gas for all of 2009 was $2.35.

The descending price of gas has been especially important for travelers trying to make it home to their families for the holidays. Some people, like Columbia resident Ellie Jennings, have to travel outside of mid-Missouri.

"My family's in Macon," Jennings said. "I have to drive there and back after for work, so it's nice to know I can put 30 dollars in my tank and it's full."

Others are now able to make the trip across the country to see their family this holiday season.

"Our daughter is coming from Colorado Springs for Christmas because of the gas prices," Crooks said. "It'll make that much of a difference, she'll be here for Christmas."

There is still doubt, however, regarding how long the low prices will last. The record drop has drivers like Crooks wondering when the price will jump back up.

"You start to think ‘I wonder how long it's going to stay down,'" Crooks said. "Why have they pushed prices this low, and how long is it going to last?"

Some are not so worried about prices increasing again. Brown said his driving habits will remain the same regardless.

"I was paying $3.70 for it like six months ago, so what's the difference if we go right back?" Brown said. "I'm not really scared of it bouncing back up."

For now, mid-Missouri drivers and those traveling through Columbia will feel some holiday cheer when they fill their tanks at the pump this season.