East Texas Pain At The Pump Through The Last Decade

For years now, you've been telling us at KLTV about the high gas prices, and how they have forced you to make changes in your life.  When did East Texas really start to feel the pain at the pump?  KLTV looks through its archives to find out.

Signs like 66 cents, or 80 cents are more than a thing of the past.  It's a memory for some that's hard to even remember.  Welcome to the summer of 1998, where yes gas was under a dollar.  Now, fast forward one year, and at $1.17 your pain at the pump begins.

"Made my money short," said one Longview resident.  "The other car we're going to be driving takes about $30 to fill up."  Wouldn't that be nice now?  Gas just went up from there, hitting $1.40 in 2000 and then $1.50 in 2001.

"It looks like I'm gonna have to swing a bank loan before I fill up," said one East Texans.  But like the saying goes, what goes up, must come down, right?  In November of 2001, gas dropped back down to just 90 cents.

"I think it's about time," said a Tyler driver.  "I think we've been robbed long enough."  Well, the oil industry didn't think so.  In 2002, gas was back to around $1.30, causing some of you to start thinking of ways to cut back.

"If it gets about $1.34, we'll curtail our travels, absolutely," said an East Texas.  "We'll have to."  In 2003, the term gas war became popular as gas stations competed for the lowest price.

"It's been so high everywhere, it's surprising to see $1.19," said a Gilmer driver.  But that quickly disappeared as gas prices rose to the $2.00 mark a year later.  Then, in the summer of 2005 Hurricane Katrina hit.

"They need to lower the gas prices," said a Tyler driver.  "They need to do something, $2.99 is just too high right now."

"I'm wondering how high it's going to go," said another Tyler driver.  "How is the working man going to even afford to go to work."  Some of you did anything you could for a few extra bucks, like pawn your favorite pieces of jewelry.

"It's an item to me, and I've got to have the gas money," said a woman pawning a gun.  Others downsized their vehicles, even bought a hybrid.

"It was $70 to fill my truck and that made me think, maybe I need to look around for something else," said a Tyler driver.  In the beginning of 2007, East Texas saw some relief at the pump, with prices dropping to under $2.00 a gallon, but we all know that didn't last long.

"It's bad, I can't believe it," said a Tyler driver.

"Gas isn't exactly what I want to be spending my money on all the time," said Tyler driver.  But for many of us, we are.  With gas almost a dollar more now than a year ago, words like outrageous and unreal will not be going away anytime soon.

Molly Reuter, Reporting mreuter@kltv.com