BEAUMONT, Texas — The U.S. is tapping into strategic oil reserves to help lower skyrocketing gas prices.
50 million more barrels of crude oil will soon be hitting the market. Two are on the Texas coast. There's one in Bryan Mound and one in Big Hill.
President Joe Biden announced the move Tuesday ahead of the holiday season as he works to drive down prices. Right now, the national average sits at $3.40. This time last year it was $2.11, according to gas buddy.
This may be the ultimate good news, bad news story for Southeast Texas.
A lot of us could use the extra money if prices were lower, but our region has such strong ties to the oil and gas business and that may cause some to worry.
One legal expert said this move won't really impact the industry that much now. But if pulling from the reserve becomes a habit we may not be in a good place.
“We can't keep doing this for an extended period of time," said Houston energy expert Ed Hirs. "We'll run out. Daily world consumption is 100 million barrels a day and the U.S. has 600 million in reserve.”
Nowadays, being behind the wheel can be frustrating thinking about how much money it's going to take to fill up your tank. Not only are gas prices high but it's causing some folks to modify their holiday travel plans.
Pain at the pumps can sometimes lead to tough decisions.
“As the price of the pump goes up, it becomes more of an issue,” said Beaumont resident Victor Allen.
Allen said he's traveling for the holidays but he's not sticking with his traditional route.
“So I'm having to kind of visit family for Thanksgiving and then opt to visit the other portion of my family for Christmas,” Allen said.
According to the latest AAA report, a gallon of regular unleaded is priced at $3.01.
“So that way I manage my budget and my travel,” Allen said. “Typically, it's kind of all put in one solution set, but we're having to kind of budget a little different this year because of the high prices and it has some concerns on me.”
Joshua Zuber with AAA said they don't anticipate high gas prices will deter people from traveling instead.
“We typically see if people are concerned about higher gas prices then they'll modify their trip in several different ways,” Zuber said.
Spot on to what Allen is doing. Zuber said the prices are slowly but surely starting to trend down in Beaumont and in the state.
“Prices are actually down in the Beaumont area. Two pennies from this time last week and across the state of Texas. We're actually down a nickel from this time last week,” Zuber said.
Zuber said the best way to save on your gasoline consumption is to follow their acronym.
“Make a good BET, check your Battery, Engine, and Tires before you head out on a road trip,” Zuber said.
Zubar said you can expect gas prices to drop in mid-December. So, we still have a little while to go before we get to that point.
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