Houston feels more pain at the pump than years past


by Tiffany Craig / KHOU 11 News


Posted on April 11, 2011 at 6:12 PM

HOUSTON — When you sell gasoline for two decades in Houston, you really do see it all.

Samih Nimri owns the Marathon station at the corner of Fountain View Drive and San Felipe Street.

"I’ve seen the 78 cents a gallon," recalls Nimri. "This is almost the highest I’ve seen so far."

It goes without asking that customers are feeling the pain at the pump.

Nimri hears the complaints and sometimes gets the blame.

"If you take into consideration the expenses and credit card fees, I can tell you I don’t make money," Nimri said.

To understand how much has really changed, you have to look back into Houston’s history. In the 1970s, gasoline shortages caused trouble for drivers and gas station owners.

People endured long lines but Houston ended up in the greatest economic boom in its history.

What was bad for America was once good for Houston. That’s not the case anymore.

"Domestic oil production is very important to the Houston economy but we now have a much larger percentage of economic activity devoted to services, to tech, to education and to medical services," said economist Ed Hirs with the University of Houston.

So now, we suffer just like the rest of the country.

"It’s too much for me," admits LaVernon Shine. "It’s like depressing."

Nimri is hoping things will change soon too.

"The only thing I’m hoping for is the gas prices stop there and keep going down," he hopes.