Montana's gas prices jumped off their own fiscal cliff this week, dropping another 7.3 cents per gallon to an average price of $3.33 per gallon. Prices are about ten cents cheaper in Montana than they were last year and nearly a whole 25 cents lower than they were just four weeks ago.

The national average has also dropped, though not as substantially. Prices are down about 3.7 cents per gallon across the nation for a national average of $3.39 per gallon.

Despite all the downward trends, it looks as if 2012 will close with the highest gas prices in history. "The national average is about 12 cents higher than it was last year," says Gas Buddy Petroleum analyst Patrick Dehaan, "for this year not to set a record we would likely need gas prices to fall to $2.30 per gallon for the rest of the year . . . which is practically impossible."

Montana's prices are expected to stabilize and begin to rise again in three to five weeks.