Despite a slight upward tick in the past week, Missouri’s gas prices are at a 12 year low.

Photo courtesy; the Missouri Department of Transportation

Photo courtesy; the Missouri Department of Transportation

Shrek 2 was the number-one movie, and the TV show “Lost” debuted on TV the last time the price at the pump was lower than the current $1.94 in the Show-Me state.

Mike Wright with AAA Missouri points to two reasons the cost of gas is the least it’s been since 2004.

“First, crude oil prices are low” said Wright.  Right now crude is selling for about $39 a barrel.  That has driven down wholesale gasoline prices.  And on top of that, we are awash in both crude oil and gasoline in the United States.”

A factor which separates states is fuel taxes, which according to Wright, helps keep costs down in Missouri.  “We’re a little over ten-cents a gallon less than the national average in terms of the combined state and federal motor fuel taxes.”

Wright says gas prices should stay close to their current level, but will start to drop again after Labor Day when demand decreases.  He says the only exception will be a minor spike at the pump when fuel is converted from summer to winter blends.

Of the five Missouri cities AAA tracks, the most expensive gas is in St. Louis and Kansas City, where it’s two-dollars or more a gallon.  At $1.86, Springfield is the cheapest, followed by St. Joseph at $1.89.

Wright says you don’t have to go too far back to find a tremendous increase in gasoline prices.  “At this same last year, statewide we were paying $2.46.  That’s over fifty-cents a gallon higher than what we’re paying right now.”