Gas prices drop below $2 in Wisconsin
A day after Christmas present for Southeast Wisconsin drivers when several stations in the Kenosha area dropped prices for a gallon of unleaded to $1.99.
As reported on the CBS 58 News at 5 in the nightly \"Pump Patrol,\" you'll pay $1.99 a gallon at the Citgo on 60th St. and 22nd Ave., The Sam's Club at Brumback and 38th St. and the American Gas at 75th and 29th Avenue.
Many are expecting those extra dollars saved by drivers to get pumped back into the economy this holiday season.
But there's another side to the story.
Energy economist Bernard Weinstein at Southern Methodist University's Cox Business School told CBS News just days ago that millions of jobs benefit from the oil and gas industry boom, but layoffs could be around the corner.
\"If you're small, if you got into the business late, if you have a lot of debt, if you're highly leveraged, some of those companies are probably either going to go out of business or have to sell assets to stay alive,\" Weinstein said.
He said oil prices can tip the economy in either direction.
\"I would say at the $60 price point, the positives for the economy outweigh the negatives,\" Weinstein said. \"But if we go into a free fall, if we see prices below $50 or getting down to $40, I think that's a negative for the U.S. economy, and not only for the oil producing states.\"
City manager Steve Saxon is watching the effects of oil prices on the local economy and said he's very concerned.
\"We're heavily dependent on sales tax. If people are not buying lumber or going out to eat, then our bottom line is impacted,\" Saxon said.
Half of Seminole's income comes either directly or indirectly from the oil industry. Now the city of Seminole has postponed some much-needed capital improvement projects -- a scene that's repeating itself in so many oil-dependent communities across the country.