Relief at the pump is here, but for how long? - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News


Relief at the pump is here, but for how long?

Pain at the pump is a thing of the past, but for how long? Some viewers have written to us concerned that these low prices aren't going to last. In fact, some are afraid they could sky-rocket at any minute. So, getting answers tonight, KLTV 7's Courtney Lane talks to experts and shows us what analysts are predicting.

Many East Texans never thought they'd see gas under $2.00 again.

"I'm surprised where they are now because 6 months ago people were estimating that without the financial crisis gas could have gone to 6 dollars a gallon. So we're really experiencing an unintended consequence of the financial crisis," said Dr. Jim Tarter of UT Tyler.

Dr. Tarter, the dean of business and technology at UT Tyler, says the main reason for these plummeting prices is simply that Americans are driving less.

"There's just less demand right now. You take and factor in the significant impact of the changes in the stock market and the value of a person's portfolio," said Dr. Tarter.

It's the one good thing coming out of the economic downslide. Guessing as to how low they could go, East Texans gave us their price predictions.

"I think it'll go down to $1.75," said Todd Hatton.

"About $1.00 and 50 or 60 cents a gallon," said Young Lee.

"Kind of fluctuating right now but I think they'll settle in around $2, little over $2 a gallon," said Barbara Hudman.

"I'd say in a couple of years from now it'll probably be 10 times as high," said Nathan Boswell.

Some gas price experts say they'll drop another 10 to 15 cents. That means here in East Texas, we could see an average of $1.75 unleaded.

But, Dr. Tarter predicts it'll be short-lived.

"It'll probably go down a little bit more but I think then you get to how much does it cost to refine, transport, and sell a gallon of gasoline. So there's some money there, you can't go too much lower," said Dr. Tarter.

Oil analysts says next summer, Americans will start driving more - and you know what that means.

"As people begin to recover, as credit becomes more available, people will spend more money, they'll want to do more things and supply's going to be limited. So here with limited supply and increasing demand, price is going to go up," said Dr. Tarter.

In the meantime, East Texans say they'll make the most of it.

"I'm going to enjoy it while I can," said Nathan Boswell.

"I'm just enjoying the low prices right now, truly," said Peggy Boyd.

Right now, oil analysts don't think we'll see $4 gas again. They predict prices could cree up to a national average of $3 though, in six months or so.

Courtney Lane, reporting.

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