Experts expect gas prices to fall, but volatility possible

Bruce Bullock of SMU's Maguire Energy Institute talks about the price of gasoline and what to expect in the days ahead.

By Emily Cahn

Two energy experts said Monday that gasoline prices may drop in the coming weeks, but will likely see volatile spikes throughout the summer due to the turbulent political situation in much of the Middle East and what is predicted to be a strong hurricane season.

Gas prices have ballooned to an average of more than $4 per gallon in many regions of the country over the past few weeks, prompting criticism from Republicans of President Obama's policies on drilling. 

And, while energy experts predict that gas prices will fall this summer, they said prices will still be higher than they were a year ago, meaning the issue will likely remain a political hot topic this summer, just as the 2012 presidential campaign gets off the ground. . .

Bruce Bullock, the director of the Maguire Energy Institute at Southern Methodist University, agreed that drivers will see lower gas prices over the next three weeks, but said that trend may not last throughout the entire summer.

“Barring any unforeseen events such as weather or something else in the Middle East, we should see some moderation in gasoline prices over the next three weeks or so,” Bullock said in an email. “However, it is difficult to say how long that will last.”

Bullock said gas prices are impacted by political turmoil, natural disasters and other economic factors including global demand, and that a mixture of these factors have made predicting gas prices difficult over the past year.

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