Pump Prices Trickle Down As Oil Dips Below $98 5-17-2011 - WNEM TV 5

Pump Prices Trickle Down As Oil Dips Below $98 5-17-2011

Some of the pain at the pump is beginning to ease across Mid-Michigan. Several gas stations are nearing the $4 mark after prices hovered around $4.19 for the last few weeks.
Oil prices are falling after factory production and new home construction declined in the U.S. last month. It also fell Monday on flooding concerns in the Midwest.
Benchmark oil for June delivery fell 67 cents to $96.70 per barrel Tuesday morning on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
The Federal Reserve says factories produced fewer goods in April for the first time in 10 months. Part of the drop is related to a shortage in parts from Japan that affected auto manufacturing.
In addition, the Commerce Department says builders broke ground on 10.6 percent fewer new homes in April compared with March.
Analysts say the disappointing news is raising questions about demand for gasoline and other energy products.
Gas is $3.944 a gallon nationally and has dropped about 4 cents since Friday.
AAA Michigan says gasoline prices statewide were averaging $4.10 a gallon Monday. The auto club says the statewide average is about $1.26 per gallon higher than last year at this time. It's the second consecutive weekly decline.

Of the cities it surveys, AAA Michigan says the cheapest price for self-serve unleaded fuel is in the Traverse City area, where it's $4.03 a gallon. The highest average can be found in the Marquette area at $4.21.
Meanwhile, the Obama administration wants Congress to shorten the time energy companies have to start drilling on public lands.
The request made to Congress on Tuesday by Interior Secretary Ken Salazar is part of a strategy to boost oil and gas production even though it wouldn't have any effect on high gasoline prices.
Over the weekend, President Barack Obama announced a series of initiatives to speed up drilling in the Gulf of Mexico, on Alaska's North Slope and off the Atlantic Coast. Salazar expanded on those plans before a Senate panel.
He said changing the law to allow leases onshore to be shorter than 10 years would prompt companies to drill. Currently, 41 million acres of public lands have been leased, but only 12 million acres are producing oil and gas.
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