Government: Gas Prices Decline for Second Week in a Row

U.S. drivers continued to find relief at the pump as the price for gasoline declined for the second week in a row, dropping to the lowest level in two months, the government said on Monday.

The national price for regular unleaded gasoline fell 7.6 cents over the last week to $2.92 a gallon, still up 31 cents from a year ago, according to the federal Energy Information Administration's weekly survey of service stations.

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The drop at the pump reflects the recent decline in crude oil prices, which accounts for half about the cost of making gasoline.

The Energy Department's analytical arm says gasoline costs should keep falling over the next few weeks as the U.S. summer vacation season ends and fuel demand falls off.

However, expensive gasoline will still cut into many family budgets, taking away money normally spent on other goods and services.

President George W. Bush said on Monday he understands that high gasoline prices act as a tax "taking money out of people's pockets."

Speaking to reporters at the White House, Bush offered no short-term relief to consumers, but said the United States needed to develop alternative energy sources and reduce its use of crude oil that is processed into gasoline.

"That's not going to happen overnight," he said.

In the EIA's new weekly survey, the West Coast had the most expensive gasoline by region, with the price down 3.9 cents to $3.10 a gallon. Los Angeles had the highest pump price among cities at $3.20 a gallon, down 5.1 cents.

Stations along the Gulf Coast charged the least for gasoline at $2.82 a gallon, down 6.6 cents. Cleveland had the best city pump price at $2.76, down 13.9 cents.

The EIA also reported that prices were down 5.8 cents in Chicago at $3.15, down 4 cents in San Francisco at $3.12, down 3 cents in Miami at $3.05, down 8 cents in New York City at $3.01, down 5.5 cents in Boston at $2.96, down 3.4 cents in Seattle at $2.99 and down 1.7 cents in Denver at $2.99.

The agency said the price truckers paid for diesel fuel fell 3.2 cents in the week to $3.03 a gallon, up 45 cents from a year ago.

The Rocky Mountain region charged the most for diesel at an average $3.35 a gallon, up 3.8 cents. The lower Atlantic states had the cheapest diesel at $2.89, down 7.4 cents.

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