El Paso, Texas — Consumer gasoline demand across the country is at an all-time high for March according to AAA, leading to rising gas prices across the country and here in the Borderland.
The Energy Information Administration reports demand for oil has reached 9.6 million barrels a day, which is more typical of summer months. No one is quite sure exactly what is causing this jump in demand. However, everyone can agree on one thing: higher demand for gasoline causes gas prices to go up. And, while they’re rising all over the country, El Paso has it worse than usual.
El Paso Gas Prices Are Rising Faster Than the National Average
While most of the country saw a recent rise in gas prices, El Paso outpaced the national rate increase by a large margin from March 17th to the 21st. In just 4 days, the average price per gallon rose by more than 30 cents. In that same time, the national average only rose around 4 cents.
For the first half of March, El Paso had much lower gas prices than the state of Texas. This was likely because of strong supply locally.
“What’s happened over the course of the last week, is we’ve had a very sharp reversal of fortune, maybe not a reversal of fortune, but we’ve had a very quick convergence to the state average. And now we’re basically equal to what Midland-Odessa is, and that’s generally what’s more normal,” says UTEP economics professor Dr. Tom Fullerton.
Now that gas prices are up to where they should be, relatively speaking, no more major spikes are expected soon, experts say.
“The rising gas prices are just really hurting our pockets,” said El Pasoan Martha Wilkerson, “I couldn’t say it any better than that, it just hurts our pockets – big time!”