In another sign that the election drama over the price of gas has subsided, crude oil prices on Monday slipped to the lowest level in months, as a weak economy coupled with high prices reduced expectations for consumption.
With some oil analysts citing concerns over the stability of the eurozone following European elections, The Washington Post reports that West Texas Intermediate, the grade of crude oil used as a benchmark in oil pricing, fell 55 cents to $97.94 a barrel for June delivery, the lowest level since February.
The price of U.S. gasoline has also been slipping. At $3.76 a gallon, it’s down roughly 5 cents from where it was a week ago and 16 cents from where it was a month ago, according to AAA. Nine states including California, Oregon, Washington and Alaska, still have gas prices of $4 per gallon or higher.
The drop in prices could be a boon for President Barack Obama, who has been chided on the campaign trail by presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney for failing to curb prices at the pump, even as prominent economists have debunked Romney’s talking points, saying there’s little the president can do to lower prices in the short term.
The U.S. produced 5.9 million barrels of crude oil a day back in December, while consuming more than 18.5 million barrels of petroleum products, according to a recent Energy Department estimate. The numbers include oil used to power vehicles as well as heat homes.