North Texas Daily

Rising gas prices reach record numbers with no sign of stopping

Rising gas prices reach record numbers with no sign of stopping

Rising gas prices reach record numbers with no sign of stopping
March 24
08:45 2022

Gas prices in Texas have reached an all-time high this month, as the average price of a regular gallon in Dallas reached $4.071 on March 10, according to AAA.

Despite decreases over the last week, with AAA reporting an average of $3.907 in Dallas on March 22, these rates are expected to stay in record-breaking ranges, said AAA Corporate Spokesperson Daniel Armbruster. 

Prices have been gradually increasing over the past year due to increasing demand as people worldwide received their COVID-19 vaccines and began traveling more, Armbruster said. Recent spikes were caused by the Russian invasion of Ukraine, which pushed the statewide average to over $4. 

“When the U.S. and other nations sanctioned Russian oil, it left a void in a global market that is already tight when it comes to supply and demand,” Armbruster said. “If you take that supply away, that forces the prices of crude oil higher. When you break down a gallon of gas, about half of that is the price of crude oil, and so when crude prices increase like that, we see gas prices increase as well.”

Out of the 27 major metro areas that the AAA surveys, Dallas ranks 10th lowest in the state in gas prices, with Fort Worth at 11th, Armbruster said. The national average price per gallon has been sitting around $4.25 as of March 22, according to AAA. Dallas and Fort Worth have consistently been well below this average, with the highest prices hitting nearly $6 in California. 

In 2020, the statewide average for unleaded prices got down to $1.47 during the COVID-19 lockdown orders, Armbruster said. Currently, the state’s average is at $3.90, which is over a 160 percent increase, according to AAA. 

A gas pump at Buc-ee’s displays a sale on March 21, 2022. Photo by Ileana Serrano

Some students have been feeling the impacts of these high gas prices, including business analytics sophomore Marlon Roa, who said he believes the main factor influencing these prices is the embargo on gas from Russia. Roa said he has personally been affected by the gas prices as a student living off campus. 

“People in the United States have a very high demand for gas, and with the supply of gas being so low and the demand remaining high, it has caused prices to increase,” Roa said. “I have had to make changes to my budget so that I have enough money for gas.” 

Ecology senior Mariah Campos, who said she commutes from Fort Worth five days a week, has also been struggling to make ends meet under current circumstances. 

“I can barely afford to get to my classes and volunteer work — let alone buy groceries and pay bills,” Campos said. “I’ve been pretty worried about my ability to afford everything with so much commuting that I might drop some of my classes or volunteer work.”

While prices have dropped slightly during the last week, Armbruster said he anticipates that they will continue to fluctuate and ultimately increase again. This is due to increased spring travel, and the switch from winter-blend gasoline to summer-blend gasoline, which occurs no later than May 1. 

“Summer-blend is more expensive, just due to the way it’s produced — it costs more and that cost is usually passed on to the consumer,” Armbruster said. “We’re now in spring travel season, and it’s likely that if prices don’t climb, they’re definitely going to stay much higher than they were a year ago.”

The AAA recommends several fuel-saving tips including driving the speed limit, avoiding idling, accelerating smoothly and using cruise control to maintain a constant speed.

Featured Image: A sign displays gas prices outside of Buc-ee’s on March 21, 2022. Photo by Ileana Serrano

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Jillian Nachtigal

Jillian Nachtigal

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