The national average price of a gallon of diesel this week fell to $2.615, 80 cents less than a year ago, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
The lowest diesel prices were reported on the West Coast, with an average of $2.553, followed closely by the Gulf Coast at $2.556. The highest prices continue to be seen in New England, where a gallon of diesel is still near $3, at $2.954.
Oil prices fell below $50 a barrel Monday after the National Bureau of Economic Research announced that according to its figures, the U.S. has been in a recession since December 2007. Light, sweet crude for January delivery ended the day at $49.28 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
The OPEC oil cartel did not announce any new oil output cuts after it met over the weekend, but will meet again on Dec. 17. According to published reports, Saudi Arabia said it believes $75 a barrel would be a fair price to aim for.
Meanwhile, the California State Board of Equalization reports that diesel fuel sold for use on California roads totaled 234 million gallons in August 2008, a 14.4 percent decline, or 39.37 million gallons below that of a year earlier.