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Gas Prices May Drop To $3.50 A Gallon

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Gasoline pump. (Credit: Miguel Gutierrez/Getty Images)

Gasoline pump. (Credit: Miguel Gutierrez/Getty Images)

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Updated 08/09/11 – 9:28 p.m.

CHICAGO (CBS) — There’s one positive side to the turmoil in the financial markets.

Experts say gas prices should continue dropping for the next 90 days or so.

WBBM’s Mike Krauser reports that some experts predict prices could fall to $3.50 a gallon and perhaps even lower.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Mike Krauser Reports

A gallon of regular gasoline was selling for $4.03 at a BP station in Oak Park.

And one driver was skeptical that prices will continue to drop.

“No, and I hope it doesn’t, because I am soon to own my own gas station,” joked one driver, who was filling up his SUV. “If you can’t beat them, you gotta join them.”

Gurpreet Sangha told CBS 2’s Pamela Jones that she saw the signs of falling gas prices at a gas station in Naperville on Tuesday night and couldn’t help but fill up at $3.89 a gallon.

“The last time I was here a couple of days ago it was $3.99. And then I saw $3.89. I’m like, hey. 10 cents,” she said.

And prices have been dropping in Chicago, too. Today, the average price for regular was $3.96 in Chicago. A week ago, it was 6 cents higher at $4.02.

It was a dramatic dip from back in May, when gas was averaging $4.46 a gallon.

Officials at AAA said that, as oil prices fall with the market, drivers will catch a break over the next few weeks.

“Down 7 cents from a week ago. We certainly like that news. But still, we’re a dollar higher than we were just year ago,” said AAA spokeswoman Beth Mosher. “So we still have some work to go.”

Families say any amount of saving is good news.

College student Alle Barnard said she uses a lot of gas going to and from school in Indiana. For her, a penny saved is literally a penny earned.

“I have loans to pay and rent to pay and books to buy and it makes me excited that it’s falling because it’s way too high right now,” Barnard said. “And I remember when it used to be under $2.”

Wholesale prices have dropped 40 cents a gallon in recent days, and those savings should be passed along to consumers. A barrel of oil is selling for about $82, the lowest price in about a year.

However, any problems with the nation’s large refineries or more unrest in the Middle East could change that, experts say.

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