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Cumberland gas prices are lowest in the state

The AAA Gas Prices website, a comprehensive retail gasoline survey, listed Cumberland County as having the lowest gas prices in the state Wed., March 25. 

The website listed Cumberland’s average gas price per gallon as $1.49, the lowest number in the commonwealth. The number is much lower than AAA’s national average for Wednesday of $2.08 and the Virginia average of $1.90.

A March 23 article from AAA stated pump prices are currently an average of 50 cents lower than this time last year, citing the low cost of crude oil as the biggest driver of less expensive gas prices. 

In the last week, according to AAA, crude oil prices dropped to just $22/bbl (one barrel, or 42 gallons), a low not seen since 2002. Crude oil accounts for nearly 60% of the retail gas price. 

Although pump prices typically increase in the spring as motorists prepare for long road trips and vacations, the current COVID-19 pandemic has significantly impacted sales. This is especially apparent for rural counties such as Cumberland.

“Typically gas prices start to trend more expensive at the beginning of spring, especially as motorists get out to enjoy the warmer weather and travel for spring break,” Jeanette Casselano, AAA spokesperson said. “That is not the case this year. With Americans urged to stay at home and practice social distancing to slow the spread of coronavirus, we are seeing less traffic on the roadways which will ultimately drive down demand, increase gasoline supply and push pump prices less expensive for the foreseeable future.”

Despite the low prices, AAA officials noted that it is not necessary to run to the pump in an attempt to quickly stock up and fill the tank.

According to the organization, there is an ample gas supply currently, and no disruption in distribution at stations.

Nearby counties were not far behind Cumberland Wednesday. Buckingham County’s average price sat at $1.56. Prince Edward’s average price was steeper at $1.84.