EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WLAX/WEUX) – Prepare to save some bucks next time you fill up as gas prices in some areas of Wisconsin, including Eau Claire, have lowered to under $3. 33 states can now find at least one gas station at $2.99 a gallon or lower. Patrick DeHaan from Gas Buddy says the reason is seasonal, “This has nothing to do with really anything beyond the fact that demand for gasoline is going down. As we have now seen our first snow, Americans are staying closer to home. They’re not filling up as much. In addition, we’ve made the transition back to cheaper winter gasoline. That’s putting a lot of downward pressure on prices.”

De Haan adds that the Middle East conflict has not had a huge impact on the price of oil, “There’s not much oil production at stake here in this region. Israel is not a major oil producer. The one wildcard that potentially watches Iran, they are a major oil producer. However, much of their oil has been heavily sanctioned by the U.S. So essentially, the market hasn’t really expected Iran to produce as much as it can because of those sanctions. But if Iran does get more involved, if they’re pulled into the conflict or if they escalate the conflict, then we could potentially see in the weeks ahead more of an impact on the price of oil.”

Drivers we spoke with are happy with the prices being so low. Especially with the holidays coming up when travel may be necessary. “I mean, any time the prices go down, that’s great. I’ve never heard anybody complain when prices go down. I’ve worked over the years with people who’ve had fixed incomes and so on, and I’m happy for them probably more than anybody because for them it makes something like that doable where they can travel and see family, where maybe in the past they wouldn’t be able to do that.”

De Haan says we haven’t seen prices like these so early in the year since covid began, “Last year, it took until November for prices to really start plummeting, and all of that was because of an energy crunch last year in China and in Europe that was trying to source all sorts of fuel ahead of the winter to stockpile because of Russia’s war in Ukraine. So, this is kind of the first normal seasonal downturn since 2019.”

De Haan says that we can expect the gas prices to rise again in February. But for now, the prices should stay low for gasoline. According to Triple-A, the average gas prices in La Crosse County are at $3.24 a gallon.