By Tony Aiello

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — At the intersection of economic distress and political dysfunction, Americans are weary and worried.

“It’s scary, it’s heartbreaking. It’s sad, it’s disappointing,” one woman told CBS 2’s Tony Aiello.

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Despite the roller coaster ride of the markets over the last few days, there is something for consumers for feel good about. The price of oil is down about 30 percent since May and many believe it will drop even more.

Any glimmer of good news is to be welcomed and that good news is coming in the form of lower oil prices, which finished at $79.30 a barrel on Tuesday. That is the lowest it has been since last September.

“I think it helps the middle class a little bit more than usual, because I mean who can pay four [or] five dollars for gas a gallon? It’s ridiculous,” said one man.

With crude down significantly from its high in May, the average cost of a gallon of regular in New York City has fallen to $4.07, that’s down 3 cents in a week.

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In Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, local prices were even lower — $3.93 per gallon. Those numbers signal a big improvement from the record-high average set three summers ago at $4.41 per gallon.

Lower fuel prices don’t just help when you pull up to the pump, they also benefit at the grocery store because transportation is a major factor in the cost of food.

With heating season coming up, customers of “Approved Oil” are now calling in to find out if now is the time to lock in a price for the winter.

“My recommendation is to hold off a bit. I do see a little further decline, and you know you could save a few pennies if you do wait,” Chris Lazio, of the company, said.

Every penny counts in a summer when much of America seems to be running on empty. Despite the recent drops, however, gas and heating oil prices remain well above last year’s prices.

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Are you seeing some relief at the gas pump?  Tell us in the comments section…

Tony Aiello