MID-CITY (CBSLA.com) — Drivers are rejoicing after the price of crude oil dropped again Monday, signaling another fall for gas prices.
Crude oil slipped to below $50 per barrel for the first time in five years, and experts predict prices at the pump could remain in the range of $2 per gallon into the spring.
The dwindling numbers are tied to a global glut and a sharp decline in crude oil, now priced at nearly half of what it was a year ago.
While the stock market dropped drastically, advocates say the price drop is a win for consumers.
"If costs are going down it's awfully hard to jack up gasoline prices suddenly, even if they want to, in order undermine global warming policies," Consumer Watchdog President Jamie Court said.
Court points to California's new climate change cap-and-trade law that just took effect. It raised the price by pennies, but Court says it's keeping lawmakers focused on companies whose executives would have to turn off refineries to manipulate prices.
"If oil prices are low, crude oil prices and gasoline prices start to climb quickly, we're going to have investigations," Court continued. "So, I'm very happy that legislators are actually concerned about gas prices, more than they have been in a long time."
Christina Sotelo welcomes the drop.
She commutes from Camarillo to Beverly Hills every day, about 100 miles round-trip, and says she's saving up to $20 every time she fills up her tank.
"It used to be $45 to fill up. Now it's like $25-30," she said. "It's astonishing to think that at one time [gas was] almost $5 a gallon."
Court said many states are watching closely to see what happens in California in the wake of the cap-and-trade law, and expects many will follow suit.
for more features.