A welcome trend in gas prices

Motorists ought to enjoy it while it lasts

By The Mercury

Need something to smile about while gazing at this untimely snow and wondering if you can protect tender plantings from the 25-degree “killing frost” headed our way or whether your heroic efforts against a force that usually has its way will be futile?

Not to worry. First, get your mind off of the phrase “killing frost.” Think back to Billy Crystal’s memorable line about the damaged hero in “Princess Bride,” and regard your tender plants after the frost as only “mostly dead.” Mostly dead is, of course, alive. A cold snap in late April won’t be kind to flowering trees, but it’s more of a setback than anything else.

Second, shift to something else over which you have little control but, unlike the immediate forecast, is more pleasant to contemplate: Gas prices.

They’ve been going down for weeks — certainly faster than temperatures have been going up. The drop from near $4 a gallon to about $3.20 a gallon is saving you money. Better yet, it’s saving you money without you having to make many sacrifices.

You can think kindly on President Barack Obama if it makes you feel good, but he’s had nothing to do with the downward trend in oil prices. The price of a barrel of oil has fallen to under $90, mostly because of rising production and less demand than expected from the United States and China, the world’s largest economies.

As for household economies,, which tracks such things, says the average American household will spend $38 less on gas this April than it did last April. That’s real money, and comes after savings in February and March and ahead of more savings in the month to come; experts expect gas to drop another 20 cents a gallon in the next couple of months.

Unfortunately, with gas prices, what goes down must come up. Which means that about the time you’re thinking about paying less than $3 a gallon for gas, prices will inch — or if history is any guide, sometimes leap — upward. You can think foul thoughts about President Obama if it helps ease the pain, but he won’t deserve the blame then any more than he deserves the credit now.

But we digress. Enjoy low gas prices while you can and shrug off the weather; your plants will rebound. Warmth may be taking its sweet time getting here, but it will come. We think.

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