How low are gas prices going? So low that "gas wars," a term not heard in many places since the early 1970s, are breaking out.
With gasoline prices crashing, stations are scrambling to stay ahead of each other when it comes to price cuts. It's a boon to consumers who have long griped about sky-high gas prices.
When a new station in Oklahoma City just priced its gas at $1.99 a gallon, a rival down the street cut the price by a penny to $1.98 a gallon. It had to, reports Bloomberg News: At $1.99, cars were lined up in droves at the OnCue station on Shields Boulevard.
Bloomberg cites GasBiuddy.com as crediting OnCue with becoming one of the first stations in the country to cut the price below $2 a gallon since oil prices started to plunge recently. The gas war is reminiscent of the 1960s and 1970s when stations routinely vied to offer the cheapest gas, knowing their big price signs out front were sure to bring in customers. They also wooed motorists with gifts and gimmicks, like trading stamps or dinnerware.
Lower gas prices could spark similar price battles around the country. The average price of a gallon of regular gas Wednesday was $2.746, down more than 50 cents from a year ago, according to AAA's Fuel Gauge Report. In the oil-producing state of Oklahoma, it was even cheaper: an average of $2.532 a gallon.
As much as the OnCue station in "OK City" wanted to make an impact, it didn't last long. Bloomberg reports that in the evening, a station in the suburb of Moore beat them all with gas at $1.95 a gallon.
The wars are sure to continue.