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South Sound gas prices declining after holiday high

Gas prices in the South Sound have entered a gentle decline since a peak at more than $4 a gallon during the Independence Day holiday.

One Tacoma-area service station was selling gasoline for less than $3.60 a gallon Monday, indicative of the downward trend the region has seen since Independence Day in the cost of filling up.

That station, Valero at 4602 N. Pearl St., where regular unleaded was priced at $3.59 a gallon Monday midday, was the only station in the South Sound selling petrol for such a low price, but multiple other stations were offering regular for just a few cents more.

The average price of a gallon of unleaded regular in the Tacoma area Monday remains significantly higher, $3.90 a gallon, but discounters are forcing that price downward. Since the average peaked on July 5 at $4.02 a gallon in the area, average prices have declined by 12 cents a gallon, according to Tacomagasprices.com.

Some retailers, however, seem unaffected by the trend, keeping gas prices well over $4 a gallon. The highest-priced gas in the South Sound was at a Gig Harbor Chevron station at 14317 Purdy Lane NW, where a gallon of unleaded was selling for $4.19 a gallon. That’s 60 cents a gallon more than the low-price leader.

Even as gas prices locally decline, they remain significantly above the national average of $3.57 a gallon. Northwest gas prices often are more expensive than the national average in part due to higher gas taxes and the relative isolation of the local market from the refineries and oil fields in the Midwest.

The nation’s lowest prices Monday were in South Carolina where gas was selling for an average of $3.28 a gallon. The highest average price was in Hawaii, where a gallon cost $4.31 a gallon on average in Honolulu.

Stations in Thurston and South King counties reflect the same downward price trend, but none matched the Tacoma leader, Valero. In Federal Way, the lowest-priced gas was selling for $3.69 a gallon at the Costco at 35100 Enchanted Parkway S. In Olympia, the price leader was an APP station at 1306 Fones Road SE where gas was $3.66 a gallon.

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