CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Everything is bigger in Texas, right? Well, how about the bigger amount of money you’re going to have to fork over at the gas pump? Maybe that’s something not too pleasing to Texans, but experts said the gas prices are being influenced by the overseas conflict between Russia and Ukraine.
Chris McDonald lives in Houston, but was visiting family in Corpus Christi on Thursday. He said he his definitely feeling that pain at the pump. If you’re traveling to Houston anytime soon, he said you shouldn’t expect lower gas prices over there. As for the Coastal Bend, he said he’s seen some lower gas prices, but not by much.
“I’ll stop in places like Refugio where I notice the gas is 2.99 a gallon the other day,” he said.
Looking back at the amount of money he spent, he said, “I’m reading 45.23. It would’ve been about 38.50 a couple of months ago. That is a shock.”
Daniel Armbruster, a spokesperson for AAA Texas, said the average price for gas in Corpus Christi is $3.20, which is up about a dollar from last year and about $1.40 from the year before.
He said Western countries could issue sanctions against Russia, and because of those sanctions, Russia could pull a large amount of crude oil out of the global market. He said that would affect supply and demand.
“Crude oil prices make up roughly about 50 percent of what we pay in the pump in retail price so it’s really important to note that crude oil prices are the biggest factor in what we pay at the pump over anything else,” Armbruster said.
Larry Napper, a professor of international affairs at Texas A&M, said although we don’t get oil from Russia, energy markets are global, so when energy supplies tighten because of their conflict, global energy prices go up.
“Oil is already pushing 100 dollars a barrel. We could see it go much higher than that if there is a large scale conflict between Russia and Ukraine,” Napper said.
Many people point their fingers to the president or the rest of the government when they look up at the tower with the gas prices and see that they’ve gone up. While Armbruster said it’s hard to say just how long we’ll be seeing the high gas prices, he said the U.S. government hardly has any power over them.
“For the most part, the White House is very limited on what they can do to control the global markets and when it comes to controlling the price of crude and gasoline,” he said.