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Good news: Fuel prices decline
This just in from the folks at AAA: Fuel prices are down in Lawrence and elsewhere in the state.And that, of course, is a good thing.Motorists are paying an average of $3.51 for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline Tuesday in Lawrence, down 14 cents from a month ago, according to AAA's Fuel Gauge Report.Tuesday's average of $3.51 in Topeka is down from $3.61 a month ago, and Wichita's average Tuesday - $3.41 - is down from $3.50 at this time in August.The Kansas numbers compare well with today's nationwide average of $3.65 a gallon, down from $3.80 a month ago, according to AAA. The national diesel price also is down - to $4.22, from $4.52.Two factors have contributed to the overall decline, said Betty Oliva, of AAA in Kansas:¢ Hurricane Ike was expected to largely miss oil-production facilities in the Gulf of Mexico, where 80 percent of the gulf's oil production has been shut down for the second time in three weeks.¢ OPEC's president signaled that the cartel would not be cutting production.Such news affected oil trading Tuesday, as light, sweet crude closed Tuesday at $103.26 a barrel - the first time the commodity had closed below $104 since early April.That's all good news for purchasers of gasoline, Oliva said."The price should continue to drop - at least for the next few days," she said.