N.C. gas prices plunge by nearly half

Gasoline prices are dropping at a rate the state has never experienced before: a $2 decline in two months for a gallon of regular.

On Sept. 15, the N.C. average for regular peaked at $4.08 a gallon. Sunday, it was $2.07. And it likely will be less today.

“After all the bad economic news we've had, isn't that a wonderful sound?” AAA Carolinas spokesman Tom Crosby said Sunday. “This is really a precipitous drop. And there's no reason why it shouldn't continue.”

Some stations in Charlotte were selling regular for $1.99 a gallon, some less. In South Carolina, which boasts some of the nation's cheapest gas, it wasn't hard to find stations in Rock Hill selling regular for $1.81 and premium for $2.02.

In October, Americans drove 11 percent less than in October 2007. Crude oil hit a 20-month low last week, dragging down gas prices.

Thanksgiving may slightly brake the drop, Crosby said, though the faltering economy may keep many people home.

“The Thanksgiving pressure is very temporary,” Crosby said. “After that, there's just not anything out there to push (prices) back up.”