Gas Prices Up and Still Rising

by Victor Lopez
NewsWest 9

It may not look like it at first glance, but there is some good news here in Texas, you may be spared the four dollar a gallon gas prices.

But even so, there are a few things you can do to keep a little more cash in you pocket the next time you fill up.

Whether you drive a small car, truck or even an 18 wheeler, whatever you paid for a tank full of gas today, will definitely be going up.

While states like New Jersey and California could be paying up to $4, the Lone Star State will be hitting $3.50 for a gallon of regular.

According to Kirk Edwards, President of the Permian Basin Oil Association, "That looks like a number we probably will be getting to here just in the next month or so."

State taxes also have a lot to do with the price of a gallon of gas.   But here locally, the Permian Basin has another reason for the increase, the recent explosion at the ALON Refinery in Big Spring.

Edwards says, "With that, gasoline prices have gone from $2.85 back then.  They've gone up 20%.  It's roughly 60 cents a gallon that they've gone up."

But ALON isn't the only cause of high prices.

"I think we're in a whole different paradigm than we've been in past years because Saudi Arabia or the OPEC countries would always supply a lot more oil in the market which would drive the price back down.  It's not happening this time," Edwards said.

And contrary to popular belief there isn't a gas shortage to blame either.

Edwards believes, "There's still plenty of oil around to be refined into gasoline.  In the country sense, it's probably at it's best inventory levels of gasoline in the last few years, at this current time."

And should prices spike even more in the Permian Basin, there's things you can do, to keep your cost down.

"You can lower your gasoline bill by half every month by buying a more fuel efficient car.  So there's going to be a lot of things people are going to do to tighten their belts to adjust to what the prices are doing," Edwards said.

Something to consider, especially with spring break, right around the corner.

And if that's not enough to save you some cash, Edwards says you have the luxury of shopping around.

"That's the thing about gasoline stations with signs on the outside.  You know exactly what you're getting when you get there or you can go somewhere else where you know there's a lower price," Edwards said.

Edwards reccomends you do whatever you can to reduce energy costs where you can.  Just bear down and hope these prices come down in the next few months.