Gas prices continue to plunge, but are the 90s back yet?

Posted at 9:34 AM, Dec 11, 2014
and last updated 2014-12-15 16:55:25-05

Gas prices are plunging with the price of oil, thanks to increased supply from the United States, now the world's largest producer.

Regular gas cost an average of $2.55 a gallon Monday, according to AAA. Gas is cheapest is Missouri ($2.25) and the most expensive in New York ($2.98), though it might be more or less pricey depending on where you live.

Drivers are saving more than $400 million compared to the higher cost earlier in the year, AAA said.

Great! But how does that hold up against gasoline's glory days in the 1990s? Adjusting for inflation, we have a little ways left to go:

If you were filling up your Ford Escort in 1995 (maybe playing a little R.E.M. or Pearl Jam on the radio), then you paid about $1.11 per gallon, which was the average cost of gas from 1992 to 1999.

Correcting for inflation, though, that's more like $1.71 per gallon in 2014 dollars. Today's gas price average needs to come down another 40 percent for the '90s to truly be back.

So it's not quite the end of gas prices as we know it. But it's OK to feel fine. The worst time to buy gas was all the way back in 2012, when a gallon cost $3.67.

No wonder the world was supposed to end.

Gavin Stern is a national digital producer for the Scripps National Desk. Follow him on twitter at @GavinStern or email him at