Gas is Cheaper Today Than the 1920s, 1930s, 1940s, 1950s, 1960s, 1970s and First Half of 1980s
The chart above shows the real price of gasoline (in 2008 dollars), annually from 1919 to 2009 using data from the Energy Information Administration (data here). For 2009, the average gas price from January to April was $1.93 per gallon, which is equal to or lower than the average price of gas in every year since 1919, except for 1973 ($1.88) and the 18-year period from 1986 to 2003 (see shaded areas above).
In other words, during 72% of the years since 1919 (72 years out of 91), the real price of gasoline was higher than the average price so far in 2009. Compared to the real retail price today, gas was more expensive in the decades of the 1920s, 1930s, 1940s, 1950s, 1960s, 1970s (except for one year), and the first half of the 1980s.