SAN ANTONIO – The gas sign reads $4.69 a gallon, but it’s not in California. It’s San Antonio, and drivers are feeling the squeeze.
“I don’t fill it up any more, I just can’t,” said Vicki Towry. She stopped the pump at $40. It was about a half of a tank.
Prices surged 33 cents a gallon in just the past week, hitting a new record high of $4.50. That’s nearly $2 more per gallon that one year ago.
Joe Montalvo paid $85.10 to fill his Tahoe.
“It’s getting worse, not getting better,” he said. For now, he’s skipping the drive to the coast.
Sandy Castro, whose Suburban guzzles at least $100 a tankful, says summer road trips are a no-go.
“Absolutely not,” she said. “Thank goodness we have a pool in the backyard, so we will do the staycation at home.”
What’s driving the super surge? Analysts say it’s a culmination of factors including $120 per barrel oil, the Russian invasion, and booming global demand.
Diminished refining capacity is also part of the out-of-whack supply and demand equation, according to Patrick DeHaan, chief petroleum analyst for GasBuddy.
“Refining capacity has fallen more than demand has, and that’s a point of contention that’s led to multi-year lows in gasoline supply,” he said.
So, are we barreling toward $5 a gallon gas like much of the country already has?
“It’s not impossible,” DeHaan said. “I hope not, but as long as Americans keep filling their tanks at the same pace, it will keep going up.”
He says drivers can expect a rough summer at the pump, especially if hurricanes disrupt supply. And, no relief is in sight, at least until fall. Even then, he says, many factors are unpredictable.
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