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U.S. gas prices fall below $4 for the first time in months

The national average dropped to $3.99 a gallon Thursday, according to the AAA, the lowest it has been since March.

The average price of gas in the United States fell below $4 per gallon Thursday for the first time in months, according to the AAA, offering some respite to drivers. 

At $3.99, the price is the lowest it’s been since early March.

Gasoline prices surged to a record high in June at $5.02 per gallon amid Russia's invasion of Ukraine, according to AAA data.

The AAA, formerly the American Automobile Association, had anticipated that the national average could drop to below $4 this month as fears of major restrictions on supply have eased since the invasion began in February.

It also noted that fewer drivers have been fueling up lately, as people change "their driving habits to cope with higher pump prices."

“Oil is the primary ingredient in gasoline, so less expensive oil is helpful in taming pump prices,” AAA spokesman Andrew Gross said Monday. “Couple that with fewer drivers fueling up, and you have a recipe for gas prices to keep easing."

The price drop will offer some relief to people in the U.S. as they contend with high inflation, with economists warning of a possible recession for months.

The drop could also be good news for the Biden administration as midterm elections loom.

The White House has been working to bring down oil prices after the U.S. and its allies sanctioned Russian oil, rolling out a plan to release more than 180 million barrels of crude from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve.

"President Biden promised he would address Putin’s price hike at ... the pump, and he has. He is releasing 1 billion barrels of oil a day from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve," White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said this week at a news briefing.

"He is rallying — rallying international partners to release an unprecedented amount of oil. And under President Biden’s leadership, U.S. oil production is up and on track to reach a record high."