Lewis Diuguid

Low oil prices boon to drivers, bust to world markets

Like a lot of things about the economy, there are always winners and losers. The same is true with the unusually low gas prices this holiday season.

Motorists are rejoicing. But the global economy is in a tailspin because so much of it floats on the price of oil.

And that has been radically down the last few months. It’s partly responsible for the Russian ruble tanking, falling 13 percent to 65.83 to the dollar. Stocks have dropped in Russia, Europe and the U.S.

Crude oil prices are down 40 percent in the last few months with a surplus of 2 million barrels. Oil production in the U.S., by OPEC and other nations continues to swell markets with an oversupply. A few years ago a barrel of oil was priced at more than $100 a barrel. It’s selling for under $56 a barrel now — the lowest since mid-2009, and it may drop even more.

More fuel efficient vehicles also contribute to the oil glut.

The price of gasoline has fallen to under $2.20 a gallon in parts of Missouri. But don’t expect motorists in America to take pity on the economy of Russia and other places, insisting on oil prices swinging upward again.

Motorists plan to ride the wave of low gasoline prices as far as it will take them and pocket the change from the savings.