Atlanta, Ga. - After a summer of spiking gas prices, you can expect a little relief at the pump this week. Barring any international crisis or hurricane in the Gulf, a return to the cheaper gas mixture should allow prices to slowly inch downward.
"It feels good any time they go down," said Michael Chenowith in Johns Creek. "But it seems they go down a lot slower than they go up."
Garrett Townsend with AAA Auto Club said that's not just a hunch from consumers, prices actually do spike much faster than they fall. He cautioned against expecting any more than 25-30 cents worth of relief this winter. That slight drop will come from the changeover to a cheaper mixture of gasoline called the "winter blend."
Georgia is one of the states that requires a cleaner burning fuel mixture during the summer months, when the most cars are on the road. Then the state's supply returns to the normal mixture for the rest of the year. That may be why Georgia's gas prices fell ten cents this past week, while the rest of the nation inched up four cents. Prices will mostly likely begin to fall slowly until the fall and winter holidays.
"You always want to keep in mind that gas prices are extremely volatile," Townsend said. "So if anything happens for instance on the international scene, or if a hurricane in the gulf affects the refineries, those factors are out there as well."
Townsend said the middle east protests of the past week did not seem to have a measurable affect on gas prices.