RICHMOND, Calif. (KGO) --Stocks stumbled Monday with the Dow Jones Industrial Average sinking 331 points. The culprit for all this uncertainty is a big drop in oil prices.
If you recently filled up at the pump, you noticed gas prices have been slowly dropping off over the last few months, but was has been plummeting are oil prices.
Prices at the pumps have tumbled well below $3 a gallon in a lot of spots across the Bay Area. At an ARCO station in Richmond, gas is going for $2.35 a gallon.
Drivers are celebrating, but they're still guarded. "I drive a lot so it's good for me. That's why I bought this small car to save some gas," Alex Garcia said.
"This is something that will go back up and then all those people that go and buy trucks because the gas is cheap are going to regret it," Don Broderson said.
The price of some types of crude oil dropped to below $50 a barrel, which hasn't been seen since 2009.
Even academics like Dan Kammen are scratching their heads because of the slump. He says this is all because of a price war that's being waged by Saudi Arabia and prices could drop even more. "Fracking in North Dakota, the tar sands producers in Canada who's costs are a lot higher and so Saudi Arabia is saying 'we can push back against those,"' he said.
With so many hybrids and even electric cars on the roads, oil demand has dropped in the last few years.
But these slumping pump prices have already affected hybrid and electric car sales and some drivers ABC7 News spoke with are waiting to see if more horse power is an option. "I'm want to get something bigger like a V12, yeah I would buy, I would because the gas, but if you do buy that, what happens then six months goes back to $4, then you're trading it back in for an economy car, right?" Emmanuel Kurtz said.
The big question is how long will these prices last? The answer will affect what we drive, our economy and even the stability of countries like Venezuela and Russia.