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Business/Economy

Texas gas prices reach 7-year high

Gas pump.
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Gas pump prices are at their highest level since 2014 and with holiday travel season approaching, they are not expected to drop any time soon.

All 27 metro areas in Texas saw prices at the pump spike in recent weeks. Regular unleaded averages in Corpus Christi, Dallas/Fort Worth, El Paso and Odessa jumped more than 10 cents per gallon. El Paso saw the largest jump at 31 cents.

Texas drivers are paying, on average, about $3.05 for a gallon of gas. A year ago, the average was about $1.88 per gallon.

Daniel Armbruster, a spokesperson for AAA Texas, said demand for gas is quickly outpacing supply.

“A lot of that's likely due to more people getting vaccinated for COVID-19,” he said. “More people are returning to the office and we're also seeing a lot more people starting to take vacations and travel. So we'll likely continue to see demand go up, especially around Thanksgiving time.”

Demand for crude oil has also increased, which Armbruster said has direct impacts on the price of gas.

“Crude oil makes up about 50 to 60& of what we pay at the pump at the retail level,” he said. “Certainly as crude oil prices have been going up, and today they're at $83 a barrel, we're going to see gas prices continue to go up as well.”

Armbruster said there’s no end to the rising prices in sight either.

“In fact, demand for gasoline continues to increase with each passing week as we go through 2021,” he said.

Even so, demand for gas has not yet reached pre-pandemic levels.

Armbruster said if drivers want to save a little bit of money on gas, he recommends avoiding quick starts and stops, lightening your load by taking any extra items out of the car and making sure your tires are in good condition and properly inflated.

“Underinflated tires are not only dangerous for the roadway, they also take away from your fuel economy,” he said.

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Got a tip? Email Rebekah Morr at rmorr@kera.org. You can follow her on Twitter @bekah_morr.