Celebrating 50 days of cheaper gas

The average price of a gallon of self-serve regular gasoline in San Diego County fell for the 50th consecutive day today and is 75.6 cents lower than the record high nearly 10 weeks ago.

The average of $3.874 is 1.1 cents less than Monday and 43.4 cents less than at this time last month, but $1.062 more than at this time last year, the Oil Price Information Service reported. The record high of $4.63 was set on June 19.

The declining price stems from lower demand at the pump, caused by various conservation measures, and lower crude oil prices, Automobile Club of Southern California spokesman Jeffrey Spring said.

The price of a barrel of light sweet crude hit a record high of $147.27 on the New York Mercantile Exchange July 11, but closed at $114.45 Monday. One factor in the declining price of a barrel of crude oil is the stronger U.S. dollar, Spring said.

Crude oil costs account for 67 percent to 75 percent of the cost of a gallon of gasoline, according to Tupper Hull, director of strategic communications for the Western States Petroleum Association, a trade association representing major oil companies in six Western states.