If there has been one slightly positive outcome of the coronavirus pandemic, it is the dramatic plunge in gasoline prices over the past two months.
Ordinarily, lower energy costs and gas prices in particular serve as a boost to the economy. In this most unusual situation, however, the steep drop in oil consumption has created more hardship than benefit, as producers struggle to stay alive while motorists are unable to enjoy the reward at the pump with no place to go.
According to AAA, the national average price for regular unleaded fuel was $1.81 per gallon as of Monday, compared with $2.84 a year ago. Tennesseans are paying a statewide average of $1.60 per gallon, down 38% from $2.60 last year. Georgians are paying only slightly more on average at $1.67. Chattanoogans are faring even better with prices around town below $1.29.
In at least 10 states, motor fuel prices are lower than at any time since the dark days of 2008, with a few states enjoying the…