Skip to main content /US /US

Energy secretary predicts lower gas prices

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham said Sunday that new data from the Energy Department will show gas prices are lower than a year ago.

"My prediction is that, tomorrow, when our Energy Department releases this week's forecast, we're going to see that prices have fallen about another 5 cents from last week, about 17 cents from the high back in May, and 10 cents lower per gallon than they were a year ago," he said on Fox News.

Last week, the department told Congress that gasoline prices should continue to fall modestly through the summer and could drop by another dime per gallon by early fall.

The national average for a gallon of regular gasoline peaked at about $1.71 on May 14, but had declined to $1.65 by early June, thanks to increased refinery production, which has increased supply, according to John Cook, with the department.

Could SUVs be less fuelish in the future? 
Gasoline prices 

Energy Information Agency numbers posted on the Department of Energy Web site show that gasoline prices in June were on their way down after the May spike, following a similar pattern to that of last summer. At $1.54 per gallon, gasoline prices were 12 cents lower for the week of June 25, 2001, than the same period last year.

But the cost was still far higher than in 1998, when gasoline prices averaged $1.06 per gallon at the end of June -- and were still dropping, eventually sinking to nearly 90 cents in early 1999.

The average jumped from 98 cents to $1.02 in the third week of March in 1999, and has not been below $1.30 per gallon since January 2000.

Abraham also said the department data predicts more blackouts in California, where a shortage of power coupled with soaring utility rates has resulted in rolling blackouts this year.

Conservation will not be enough to alleviate the nation's power problem, according to the energy secretary.

"We also have to develop more energy supply here at home," Abraham said.

Speaking this weekend on Evans, Novak, Hunt & Shields, Abraham said the long-term energy picture is not as promising -- unless more supplies are identified.

"The energy crisis isn't over," he said. "The long-term picture shows us becoming more energy-dependent on foreign imports."

On Monday, the Consumer Federation of America is expected to offer its own analysis of gas prices with a study documenting summertime price increases, their causes and how to protect consumers.

• Gasoline and Diesel Fuel Update

Note: Pages will open in a new browser window
External sites are not endorsed by CNN Interactive.


Back to the top