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Gas prices continue to plunge

PORTLAND – It’s the same as last week. Gas prices continue to fall dramatically across the nation at a time when they’re normally going up. AAA Motor Club Public Affairs Director Marie Dodds said last week’s reasons behind the drop remain unchanged.

“We have plummeting crude oil prices as well as the coronavirus outbreak,” she said. “Those are the two major drivers of our lower pump prices.”

The crude oil price war erupted between the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and Russia when OPEC and non-OPEC nations could not agree on cutting the production of crude.

“Crude oil plummeted down to $22 a barrel last week,” Dodds said. “That is a low we hadn’t seen since 2002.”

Dodds said that crude oil accounts for nearly 60 percent of the cost of gas at the pump.

The national average for a gallon of regular unleaded is down 13 cents to $2.11. Oregon falls 11 cents to $2.80, while Washington is down 13 cents to $2.87. Checking local markets, Pendleton is down 14 cents to $2.65, Hermiston drops five cents to $2.72, Walla Walla is down four cents to $2.72, and Milton-Freewater falls 11 cents to $2.52.

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