- Gas in Texas averaged $3,086 per gallon in January and February 2023
- Texas also had the second-lowest increase in gas prices over a ten-year period
- California and Hawaii had the highest prices in 2023 at $4,907 and $4,617
A new study found Texas had the cheapest gas prices in the country so far in 2023, at 37 cents per gallon below the national average.
The auto subscription service Finn found that Texans paid an average of $3,086 for normal-quality gas in January and February, below the current national average of $3.40.
Finn’s research found that Texans could drive the furthest on $50 gasoline, which bought about 16.2 gallons in Texas and would fuel drivers 356.45 miles in a Ford F-150.
Texas followed Mississippi for the cheapest gas with an average of $3,124 per gallon, and Oklahoma and Missouri with an average of $3,136 per gallon.
The most expensive states for gas were Hawaii, where gas averaged $4,907 per gallon, and California, where a gallon averaged $4,617.
Finn’s data showed that Texas ranked sixth in the nation for the number of miles residents drove per day, and for the increase in mileage driven over 23 years.
“In the U.S., Texas ranks sixth for daily travel with 17,123 lanes and also ranks sixth for an increase in miles traveled since 2000, at a rate of 49%,” the study said.
‘This is 23% higher than the national average of 26%.’
Since the survey was conducted, gas prices in Texas have fallen even lower, hitting $2.97 a gallon on Monday. That’s slightly more expensive than Mississippi, which has the cheapest gas in the country at $2.95 a gallon.
Finn’s data also showed that Texas ranked second in the nation for the smallest increase in gas prices in a decade.
The study noted that in 2013 the average gas price in Texas was $2,763 per gallon, making the average of $3,086 per gallon in 2023 up 11.69% over the past decade so far.
“As previously mentioned, Texas currently holds the title for the state with the lowest gas prices,” the study said. “However, it is the 11th most congested state with a rate of 58%, which is 11% higher than the national average.”
Hawaii and California also came near the end of that list, with the highest increases in average gas prices over a ten-year period.
California jumped a whopping 56.14 percent from an average of $2,957 per gallon in 2013 to an average of $4,617 per gallon in 2023, and Hawaii jumped 57.53 percent from $3,115 per gallon to $4,907 per gallon.
Finn’s data comes after the United States was plagued by spiraling gas prices in 2022, which peaked at an average of $5.01 per gallon in June.
While prices eventually fell from that dizzying high, experts warn that 2023 won’t quite see a return to cheaper times at the pump.
‘2023 will not be a cakewalk for motorists. It can be expensive,” Patrick De Haan, chief of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy, told CNN in December.
“The national average could exceed $4 a gallon as early as May — and that’s something that could continue for much of the summer driving season,” he added.
GasBuddy predicts prices will rise to $3.52 to $4.05 in May as the summer driving season begins and demand picks up.
Average gas prices in the US are currently $3,405.
Gas prices usually rise in the summer as more Americans hit the road and refiners switch to a more expensive summer formula designed to reduce air pollution.
GasBuddy didn’t expect a return to $5 a gallon of gas next year.
De Haan told CNN he expects prices to hit $4.25 a gallon in August before falling back to $3 a gallon by the end of the year.
The federal Energy Information Administration has released similar projections, with gas prices averaging $3.51 through 2023, down from the $3.99 average in 2022.
Gas prices rise and fall mainly based on the international price of crude oil. For every $10 increase in the price of a barrel of oil, a gallon of gas rises about 20 cents.
Oil prices soared in 2022 after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February, which led to a ban on Russian oil exports. OPEC also cut production despite pleas from the Biden administration.
U.S. production has also failed to return to record levels seen before the COVID-19 pandemic, shutting down many fringe producers due to declining demand.
As of March, Biden pulled 180 million barrels from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, bringing the stock to its lowest level since the 1980s.
The reserve was created after the Arab oil embargo of the 1970s to give the United States a supply that could be used in an emergency.
Tapping into the reserve is one of the few things a president can do himself to try and control inflation, which often creates a political liability for the party in charge of the White House.
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