Gas prices are dropping and, according to one expert, some East Texans may continue to see falling gas prices well into the holidays.
The national average for regular gas was recorded $3.376 on Thursday; however, here in East Texas, some stations have their regular gas priced at $2.95.
"I'm saving some money," said Mignonne Snider of Rusk. She said the prices are usually cheaper in Tyler, so she waits to fill up when she is in town.
"I like the price very much. I like the $2.99," said Sanford Ray Dowden, who said he used to work in the oilfield.
He said he probably saved about $10 on Thursday.
"Every little bit counts, particularly if you are retired," he said with a smile.
"I think it's kind of like getting an early Christmas present. It's nice to see something coming down in price," said Elma Cairns, who filled up at $2.99 a gallon.
According to one expert, East Texans are about to save even more.
"Everything indicates a continued downward bias in the price and so I think we are going to test the limit at $2.75 a gallon here in Tyler this fall," said Dr. Harold Doty, Assistant Vice President of Strategic Initiatives at University of Texas at Tyler.
Dr. Doty predicted this drop in prices due to the winter-blend and ease in international tension. However, he warns another reason behind the drop is not so positive.
"One of the things that is going to force it down a little bit...our government shutdown is going to shave some growth off our gross domestic product. So, in some things, the forces that are driving the gas prices down right now aren't good for our economy or even the global economy. So we have to be careful of that tension," Dr. Doty explained.
While he expects these low prices to last a few months, he said storms can send prices soaring.
"One is Karen, in the Gulf of Mexico right now, and it doesn't look like that's going to shut down a bunch of production; but if we get a series of storms through the oil-producing waters that shutdown production, that could force things back up," Doctor Doty explained.
He also warns of another type of storm.
"In this day and age, a geopolitical storm can always happen. While things right now look like tensions are on a downward trend and reduced tension between some of the Middle Eastern nations, that can change in a heartbeat," Dr. Doty said.
However, if everything stays on track, he predicts the price of gas to stay below $3 a gallon until the spring.
"Enjoy it now because we know it's not going to last," Dr. Doty said.
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