By Johnny Jackson
Officials with AAA Auto Club South believe a possible lawsuit against Goldman Sachs Group, Inc., may have temporary affects on gas prices this week.
AAA Auto Club South Spokeswoman Jessica Brady said the price of crude oil dipped below $84 last week, after the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced it will sue Goldman Sachs Group, Inc., for fraud tied to subprime mortgages.
Brady said the news created a wave of concern the government would keep a tight eye on Wall Street, causing crude oil prices to fall to $83.24 a barrel at closing time Friday on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
"If it wasn't for the lawsuit, we would have seen the price of crude oil close higher than last week, causing an increase in retail gasoline prices," Brady said, "but instead, we might see retail prices decrease a couple cents this week."
AAA reported average prices in metro Atlanta have dropped slightly, from $2.74 per gallon of regular unleaded gas on April 13, to $2.72 per gallon on Tuesday.
Brady added that the U.S. supply of crude oil decreased last week for the first time in 11 weeks as gasoline use has risen 1.3 percent in the past four weeks. Crude oil prices also rose quickly on Tuesday, closing at $84.02 per barrel on the NYMEX, according to Bloomberg.com.
"So, depending on how long this lawsuit affects Wall Street, it probably won't be too long before we see the price of crude oil and retail gas prices start to rise again," she said.
AAA's Daily Fuel Gauge Report continues to mark average prices in metro Atlanta and around the Southeast Region among the lowest gas prices in the nation, between $2.67 and $2.87 per gallon of regular unleaded, compared to the Western states, which are experiencing average prices between $2.89 and $3.55 per gallon.