GREENVILLE, Mich. -- Every driver FOX 17 spoke with Monday in Greenville seemed to remember how much a gallon of gas cost when they first got their license.
“When I first started driving it was around $1.19,” Derek Bodman said.
“It was under a dollar," a woman hesitantly said, then chuckled.
Another driver said gas cost "about 25 cents a gallon.”
That's no where near the price at the pump nowadays. However, $2.55 is a steal, considering it’s the lowest price for regular unleaded in the past three years, according to economist Dan Giedeman.
And it was the cheapest gas price in the United States, according to GasBuddy.com.
“The only thing I can think is maybe it’s just a local price war," Giedeman said.
Monday morning, FOX 17 counted at least three gas stations undercutting each other to get to the $2.55 mark in Greenville. The price drop was steady over the past couple of weeks.
Giedeman, a professor at Grand Valley State University, said gas stations are likely choosing to lose money on fuel to draw customers inside to buy other products. That's where the real profit is said to be.
However, Giedeman said the nationwide price drop is also a global consequence of world events.
“The one factor from a positive side is that there’s been more oil production, particularly Libya has increased their oil production over the last several months," he said.
On the downside, Giedeman said, the United States may be benefiting from slower economies in Europe and Asia where there’s now a decrease in demand for oil.
“With slower economies, they need less fuel and that’s going to lower the global demand for oil, and that’s going to have oil prices fall," Giedeman explained.
As for prices in other parts of West Michigan, Lowell saw gas in the $2.60 range, while many areas hover around $2.90 and $3.00.
The price at Greenville gas stations jumped back up around $2.87 by late afternoon.
Patrick DeHaan, an analyst with gasbuddy.com, said that within the past two weeks the Saudis and Iran announced they'd be cutting the cost of crude oil for the month of October. He's not sure why, but Dehaan said it could be a price war within OPEC.