Austin Gas Price Reach an All Time High
By Stephanie Molina
Reporting Texas TV
AUSTIN, Texas – At the beginning of March, gas prices surpassed the record high of $3.98 from 2008.
The rise has affected Americans since February. Gas Buddy, which tracks prices, said they increased each week by about 10 cents, drastically affecting those who depend on gas for their job.
Michele Premeaux-Johnson, a DoorDash driver, lives in Taylor but drives around the Austin area to make deliveries. With the gas price increase, she is thinking twice about driving.
“There was some deliveries where I was barely making 50 cents a mile, and other ones I made two dollars a mile. I mean it’s just very hit or miss,” Premeaux-Johnson said.
COVID-19 and the ongoing war between Ukraine and Russia are the reason for the high cost at the pump. Although there has been no disruption of global gas supplies, the insecurity still exists, causing the demand increase.
“Some concerns about what Russia might do in terms of cutting back its exports or if countries like the United States decide not to take Russian exports that would cause further constraints,” said Owen L. Anderson, a University of Texas professor who is an expert on oil and gasoline
On February 24, the U.S. Treasury announced expansive sanctions against Russia to impose an immediate and long-term economic effect on the Russian economy. The sanctions against Russia has now caused them to not ship gas globally.
“Russia is one of the top three oil producers globally with a barrel of oil about $108,” said Patrick De Hann, a petroleum analyst at GasBuddy.
“It has pushed gas prices significantly and it will continue to do so for the upcoming weeks.”
“You start to question – should I even go and do this? Is it cheaper for me to just pay someone to come and deliver something to me instead of getting out in my car?” Premeaux-Johnson said.
De Hann adds that it is important to be aware of your location when buying gas because certain stations buy them at higher or lower prices.
“Some of them may have bought more recently in which they are paying more, so that can create a lot of hot spots,” De Hann said. “They could be buying it from different suppliers as well.”
Although the prices have dipped in certain areas, Austin’s current average is $3.91 per gallon. Experts said it will continue to climb as the weather gets warmer.
“We switch to over more expensive summer gas and demands are starting to go up and refineries is doing maintenance ahead of the summer,” De Hann said.
“Usually those factors alone push gas prices up by anywhere from 20 to 75 cents between March and Memorial Day.”
Premeaux-Johnson said higher gas prices still won’t slow her down.
“It also might mean I have to dash more if I’m actually making decent money, because we still have to have gas to take our kids to school and get my husband to work, ” she said.
“So, if the prices are going up that money has to come from somewhere to pay for the gas.”
DoorDash is currently offering gas rewards for its drivers.