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2012 Archives

Already pricey gasoline may near $4 by spring


The following ran in the Jan. 31, 2012, edition of the Houston Chronicle. Bruce Bullock, director of the Maguire Energy Institute at SMU's Cox School of Business, provided expertise for this story.

February 6, 2012

By Vicki Vaughan

Drivers, if you didn't fill up at the start of the week, you may regret it today.

And the crushing news is that the high price you'll pay now likely will be eclipsed in the spring - when prices at the pump will approach $4 a gallon in Texas, experts say.

The average gas price in Houston jumped 3 cents overnight to $3.37 a gallon Tuesday for regular unleaded. Motorists locally now are paying 46 cents a gallon more for gasoline than they were a year ago, according to AAA.

A whole rash of reasons can be blamed for the hit to your pocketbook. They range from high crude oil prices to the closing of refineries.

Then there's the optimism that the economy is strengthening, which would boost demand. Normally, that's good news, but not at the pump. Meanwhile, unrest in the Middle East continues to rattle the market.

"We are at a record price for crude for this time of the year and record for gas in most parts of the country," said Bruce Bullock, director of the Maguire Energy Institute at Southern Methodist University's Cox School of Business.

In the spring, "prices in the high $3 range for Texas are quite probable at this point," he said....