Gas Prices Push $2.00 - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

5/14/04-East Texas

Gas Prices Push $2.00

East Texas has been able to put it off for years, but not anymore. Gas prices are fast approaching $2 a gallon for regular unleaded here.

The high prices have come as a shock to many who are used to paying below the national average. But is that change enough to affect your driving habits? We asked East Texans that very questioned Friday.

Gas prices threatening to top the $2 mark were, for many, an unwelcome sight.

We don't like it," said Bernice LaQueen.

"They are outrageous," said Sabine Rowell.

"It just keeps going up more and more and there is really not much we can do about it," said Faye Ortega.

It is that helpless feeling that has many drivers frustrated. Headed from Fort Worth to Shreveport, Ortega stopped in East Texas to top off the tank. The prices at the pump couldn't keep her and her sisters away from a weekend of fun.

"We more or less pool our money together and that's how we're able to travel like this," Ortega said. "There are four of us so we pool our money together and we're really better off going in our own vehicle."

While the high prices haven't kept folks like Faye from a good time, they have forced those, like Lindale resident Bernice LaQueen, to rethink their daily lives.

"When I'm in town I pick up things on my way home from work rather than on the weekend," she said. "Do I like it, no I don't care for it, but what can you do."

Changing up the routine can be an option for some looking to save a few bucks. But for folks like horse breeder Sabine Rowell, the options are limited.

"They are outrageous, but it's a part of the business and you don't' have a choice, the horses have to run, the trailers have to roll and you need the trucks to pull them," she said. "I've gone from a 50 to 60 to 70 dollar trips to a 150 dollar trip, that's quite a bit."

It's a big increase, that whether for work or play, drivers must get used to paying at the pump. The women headed to Shreveport from Ft. Worth say they checked into taking the bus, but at 90 bucks a person, carpooling was the cheaper option.

Even with the high prices, East Texas remains below the national average of $1.95 a gallon.

Chris Gibson, reporting
cgibson@kltv.com

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