RENEE MONTAGNE, host:
And last month, oil prices hit an all-time high. But NPR's Scott Horsley reports that unless this storm causes serious damage in the Gulf, prices should continue to fall at the barrel and at the pump.
SCOTT HORSLEY: What goes up must come down, and oil prices have been coming down hard. Analyst Phil Flynn of Alaron Trading in Chicago says this summer's sky-high oil and gas prices have turned out to be self-correcting, as consumers and businesses look for ways to cut back on energy use.
Mr. PHIL FLYNN (Analyst, Alaron Trading): High prices cure high prices. And if prices go up too fast, demand will fall and prices will fall. And I just think that's a lesson that we're learning once again.
HORSLEY: To be sure, oil and gasoline prices are still high by historical standards, and they could start claiming again if tension in Georgia threatens the flow of oil through pipelines there, for example. But geopolitical worries did nothing to arrest the drop in oil prices last week, and Flynn doesn't think the rollercoaster has reached the bottom yet.
Mr. FLYNN: My gut feeling is is that we're going to see oil prices continue to go lower. And I wouldn't be surprised if we saw gasoline prices continue to go lower. It seems with the dollar getting stronger and demand dropping off, it's really pressuring prices to the downside.
HORSLEY: So far, oil prices have fallen more than twice as far as gasoline prices, suggesting that even if crude oil prices level off, there's room for additional savings at the gas pump.
Scott Horsley, NPR News.