By Bryant Reed

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – The president’s announcement to release millions of gallons of oil from the country’s reserves is already driving down some gas prices nationally, but Pittsburghers are still paying about the same $3.55 as they were a couple of weeks ago.

“Consumers can probably expect gas prices to be cheaper in the next coming weeks and next couple of months barring any outlying factors,” said Jim Garrity, AAA East Central spokesperson.

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Part of the issue has been supply and demand. As the number of drivers increases, gas stations have to fill up more.

Although the Omicron variant of COVID-19 has just been found, oil providers are expecting less people to travel, which has already made an impact.

“We started to see crude oil prices come down when it was announced that the Biden administration would tap into oil reserves,” said Garrity. “Then we saw crude oil prices come down even further when concerns hit the market about the Omicron variant.”

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Now drivers are consistently forced to change how and when they fill up their tanks. On average, people are spending about $10 more this year than last year at the tank. But they’re still finding a way to get around still.

“Most of the time, prices being high doesn’t deter people from the things that are important to them like seeing family and friends,” said Garrity. “They’ll find that room in the budget, whether or not it’s that one less night out at dinner or finding room somewhere else in the budget to make that work.”

Bottom line: stay patient. Although it’s only pennies, prices will slowly start to trickle down and in a few months, there should be a noticeable change in gas prices.

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Whether gas prices are high or low, Garrity says if you want to save gas and in turn save money, there’s a simple fix: drive slower.