The good, the bad, the ugly: Effects of gas prices on consumers, economy

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OKLAHOMA CITY- Americans across the country are celebrating as the price at the pump continues to drop.

According to TIME, the average price of gas in the United States is now $2.55 a gallon, which is the lowest it has been since 2009.

However, experts say your perception of the plummeting prices depend on whether or not you work in the oil industry.

While drivers are able to keep a few extra cents in their pockets, oil stocks have hit a low.

Over the past six months, crude oil prices have nearly been slashed in half.

Crude oil traded below $60 a barrel for the first time in five years last Thursday. It was just over $58 a barrel early Monday.

On Tuesday, Chesapeake Energy's stock closed near a one-year low.

Continental Resources, Devon Energy and Sandridge Energy have all hit their lowest stock prices of the year.

Falling demand for oil because of economic issues in Europe and Asia are one major reason for the drop in prices.

However, not all causes came from outside the country.

Increased oil production in the United States, which took the nation past Saudi Arabia as the world's largest source of crude oil this summer, is another major factor for the decline of prices.

Experts say more fuel efficient vehicles on the road also helped.

Some local companies are worried about the effects the price cut will have on their bottom line.

"Oh, I think you're going to start seeing some layoffs," Mike McDonald, co-owner of Triad Energy, said Tuesday.

McDonald says the state could also lose nearly $500 million over the next year because of lost tax revenue from oil companies.

McDonald says Oklahoma's budget will suffer from a ripple effect.

"They're going to reduce their drilling significantly because... it just doesn't make a lot of economic sense to go drill at these prices," he said. "You can't make any money."

However, not everyone is worried about the change.

OPEC declined to cut back on production, saying that Middle Eastern oil producers believe "the market will stabilize itself."

Also, the sky does not seem to be falling for Devon Energy.

The company says it is on track to deliver a 20 to 25 percent growth in its 2015 oil production.

While you are filling up your car or truck, investment experts say you may also want to look at investing in oil company stocks.

'Buy low, sell high' is the old saying, but there's a catch.

"This may not be the bottom," Greg Womack, a financial planner with Womack Investment Advisers, said of oil company stock prices. "They're sure a lot cheaper than just a couple months ago. In some cases, just a month ago."

But there is a bright side for everyone else.

According to Deutsche Bank, for every penny that consumers save on gasoline, U.S. households can spend about $1 billion more in the broader economy.

Most experts don't believe the price of gas will stay this low for long.

A survey of investment strategists found that most believe the price of crude oil will rebound in 2015 and bring in nearly $74 a barrel.

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