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Gas prices

Gas prices are down considerably from a month ago but still are headed for a four-year high on Christmas, according to GasBuddy.

AP file photo

The good news is gas prices are on the decline. The bad news is they still will be higher this Christmas than at any point in the past four years.

That's the conclusion from GasBuddy.com, which predicts national gas prices will average $2.39 a gallon this Christmas, the highest price since 2013's eye-popping $3.26 a gallon, which was the highest Dec. 25 price in history. The price is 11 cents higher than last year and 39 cents higher than in 2015.

“It’s hard to be completely happy with gas prices dropping slightly in recent weeks when we’re going to see the most expensive Christmas at the pump in years, but what we’re seeing now really pales in comparison to the holidays when we pulled up to a pump that was over $3 per gallon,” Patrick DeHaan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy, said in a news release.

If you're one of the approximately 97 million people expected to hit the road for the holidays, you're likely to see prices that are considerably lower than they were a month ago.

The average price of gas in Lincoln as of Tuesday morning, according to AAA, was $2.30 a gallon. That's down 10 cents in the past week and 18 cents in the past month. However, it's 4 cents higher than at this point a year ago.

More than a dozen local stations have prices below $2.20 a gallon, with the lowest price $2.09, according to GasBuddy.

The local average is considerably lower than both the state and local averages.

Nebraska's average price as of Tuesday morning was $2.38 a gallon, also down 18 cents from a month ago, but 17 cents higher than a year ago.

Nationally, the average price was $2.42, down 12 cents from a week ago and up 18 cents from a year ago.

Reach the writer at 402-473-2647 or molberding@journalstar.com.

On Twitter @LincolnBizBuzz.

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Business editor/reporter

Matt Olberding is a Lincoln native and University of Nebraska-Lincoln graduate who has been covering business for the Journal Star since 2005.

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