Tommy Mann Jr.
The Orange Leader
Retail gasoline prices increased as 2013 came to an end but AAA believes the New Year will be better.
Gasoline prices across Texas have risen slightly over the last two weeks of 2013 and at the start of 2014. AAA Texas reported the average statewide gallon price at the pump for regular unleaded is $3.12, up from $3.05 late last week, according to the Associated Press. Nationwide gasoline prices rose 6 cents to $3.31 per gallon.
Drivers in Texarkana are paying the most for gas this week, at $3.15. Amarillo's gas is the state’s cheapest, at $2.98 — which is still a 9 cent jump from last week.
The association says demand for gas remained high through the holiday travel period as nine out of ten travelers this season opted to drive their vehicles instead of travel by airplane, bus or cruise ship.
“Gas prices are still higher than I like, but they aren’t as bad as they have been in the past,” said Carol Nolan of Vidor. “My family and I drove to Florida to see family members for Christmas. It cost us about $120 to drive there and back, and that’s a lot better for my pocketbook than flying since there is five of us in the car.”
Gas prices in Orange County, which typically are some of the lowest in the state, are currently in the middle of the pack with a county average of slightly more than $3.06 per gallon of unleaded gasoline.
A survey of 24 fuel locations and convenience stores in Orange, West Orange, Pinehurst and Little Cypress revealed an average price of slightly more than $3.05 per gallon with several locations offering $2.99 per gallon.
In the Bridge City and Orangefield area, a survey of more than a dozen fuel stops revealed an average price of slightly more than $3.04 per gallon of unleaded gasoline, which was the lowest price in Orange County.
The average price of unleaded gasoline in Vidor, Rose City and Pine Forest was $3.10 per gallon. This included the most expensive advertised price of $3.29 per gallon at the Super Stop location on FM 1132 near State Highway 12.
According to the Associated Press, analysts at GasBuddy.com, a consumer gasoline information website, expect lower average gas prices in 2014 saying the average price in the U.S. next year will fall by about 10 cents a gallon from 2013’s average.