Gas prices stay down despite OPEC decision, Ike

Local experts say that the usual factors that would possibly increase gas prices have not made that much of an impact in southwestern Connecticut and

NORWALK - Local experts say that the usual factors that would possibly increase gas prices have not made that much of an impact in southwestern Connecticut and around the country recently.

With the announcement of a production cut from OPEC and Hurricane Ike bearing down upon Texas, drivers may expect gasoline prices to skyrocket. But experts say that may not be the case.

With gas consumption down for the first time in 26 years and the strength of the U.S. dollar rising, the bullish factors that would have affected pump prices are having a reverse effect. Drivers are instead seeing a slow decline in prices.

?It's totally crazy,? says oil industry expert Peter Beutel. ?I've never seen anything like it.?

Beutel acknowledged the importance of conserving energy and reducing gasoline consumption in order to keep the price at the pump manageable.

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