PEARLAND, Texas — Gas prices have jumped 29 cents in Texas in just one month, according to AAA officials, who say drivers can expect to pay more into summer.

AAA reports Texas drivers are paying $2.47 a gallon on average for regular unleaded fuel. In Houston, it costs $2.48 per gallon on average to fill up, 20 cents lower than the national average of $2.68.

AAA says higher demand and tighter supply pushed prices up in March. They predict prices will climb to $2.75 a gallon by summer nationwide.

"If you're on the west coast, you could see it increase a bit more, but more states and in the southern part of the country will definitely see that 10-cent increase,” said Jeanette Casselano, a spokesperson for AAA.

Dr. Steven Craig, a University of Houston economics professor, says the higher prices are due to OPEC production cuts, U.S. imposed sanctions on Iran and Venezuela, and refinery outages as producers switch to higher ethanol blends for the summer.

“We’re doing the wrong thing and it’s causing costs to go up, and that does not help Houston,” Dr. Craig said. “Those costs are going up not because of the petroleum sector but because of the farming sector, so it’s actually a drain out of our economy into the Midwest.”

AAA says drivers in San Antonio pay the lowest average price for regular unleaded gas at $2.33 per gallon.

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