With the rising temperatures, we're bound to see rising gas prices. Nationally, gas prices have gone up for seven days in a row. As spring approaches, we're not expected to see much relief.
Gas prices in East Texas are starting to make their seasonal climb to the top. Even though they're going up, we're starting off in a better place than we did this time last year.
"There is a very silver lining out there," says Dr. Harold Doty, UT Tyler Assistant VP for Strategic Initiatives.
Currently, gas prices are about 8 percent lower than they were in February of 2013, but crude oil prices are about the same. Why do we get to pay less in 2014? Experts say it's because gasoline supplies are plentiful right now.
However, Doty doesn't expect that to stay the case as we continue exporting more gasoline than we have in years past.
"We have all that we need, but what happens is we don't have the excess supply built up because we can get rid of it outside of the United States," he says.
Monday, regular unleaded fuel was running about $3.15 a gallon in Tyler. Exactly one year ago, the price tags on local gas station marquees were pushing $3.60.
"We're always going to see it go up and down--- down in the fall and up in the spring. That's not going to change, but it should continue to trend downward," explains Doty.
AAA predicts that this year, gas prices will peak between $3.55 cents per gallon and $3.75 per gallon. East Texas, as usual, should stay closer to those lower numbers.
"I think here in Tyler we're going to top out at $3.40-$3.50 per gallon," predicts Doty.
Doty expects to see East Texans shell out the most cash for gas between Easter and Memorial Day. Then, he says, prices should level out in June.
Gas prices tend to go up in the spring because many refineries are slowing down production while they take care of some seasonal maintenance. The federal government also requires major metropolitan areas to switch over to a summer blend of gas when the seasons change. Doty says that summer blend is more expensive to make.
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