HOUSTON — This week, Texas saw its largest week-to-week drop in average gasoline prices so far in 2022, according to AAA.
A gallon of regular unleaded was 16 cents lower on average statewide Thursday than the week prior.
The Houston area averaged $4.36 per gallon. Laredo had the lowest average at $3.98 per gallon, while El Paso had the highest at $4.44 per gallon.
“That’s awesome, and it’s still something,” said Darlene Tran, who was filling up at a west Houston gas station Thursday afternoon. “I’m sure it’s making people happy, as long as it’s going down a little bit."
“It doesn’t even help at all,” said Justin Dinbali, another driver filling up. “It needs to get back to $1, $2, $2.30, $2.40.”
AAA officials pointed to two big factors behind the price drop: Concerns about a decline in global demand later in the year and a regional increase in supply.
KHOU 11 News energy expert Ed Hirs agreed that fears of a recession are driving the price drop.
“This is the world in turmoil right now, and the oil markets pretty well reflect that,” said Hirs.
However, AAA officials point out gasoline demand is usually high in July, one of the busiest months for car travel.
The agency said supply uncertainty caused by Russia’s war in Ukraine could cause prices to fluctuate.
“I expect prices to stay in this north of $4 range through the rest of the year, and it could really get to $6 if the recession is a short one, if it climbs back, if we have more dislocations in Europe,” said Hirs.
Some drivers are asking for help from Austin or Washington.
“I’m not political, but whatever they need to do to get it done, please do it,” said Corey Eckles as he was filling up in Houston on Thursday.
Hirs does not believe President Biden’s upcoming trip to Saudi Arabia or a proposed gas tax holiday will have much impact.
AAA reported as of Thursday, Texas had the sixth-lowest average gas prices in the United States. California had the highest at $6.19 per gallon.