Tacoma gas prices, which got an early boost this year by uneasiness in the Middle East and a refinery fire in northern Washington, have dropped nearly 10 cents a gallon on average in the last month.
New figures from The News Tribune’s Gas Deal Finder show the average price for a gallon of unleaded regular in Tacoma at mid-afternoon Thursday was $4.036 a gallon. That compares with $4.120 a gallon a month ago and $4.046 a week ago.
A year ago, the average price per gallon was $4.028 a gallon.
Tacoma prices are still considerably more than the nationwide average of $3.802 a gallon. That discrepancy is caused in part by higher state gas taxes and the fact that the Northwest is a relatively isolated market.
In a normal year, gas prices peak in mid-May and then fall gradually through the summer and fall to a low just before Christmas.
International politics, wars, speculative activity and disasters can influence gas prices in unexpected ways.
Gas is available at several stations in the Tacoma area for less than $3.90 a gallon. Two Arco stations and Costco were selling fuel for under that price Thursday afternoon.