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Expert: gas prices to continue rising through Easter and into Summer

Posted: 10:27 PM, Apr 18, 2019
Updated: 2019-04-18 23:27:16-04

Easter travelers will pay a little more at the pump this year according to driving club AAA. The average price for a gallon of regular unleaded in the Corpus Christi-area is $2.50 currently. It’s only a six-cent increase over Easter 2018, but it’s up 29-cents from just a month ago, and Texas A&M Corpus Christi economics professor Dr. Jim Lee says it’s a sign of things to come thanks to a strong economy.

“We should expect higher gas prices, but that’s the price that we pay for more economic growth and more income,” Dr. Lee said.

Lee said $3.00 per gallon gas is not out of the question by the end of the year. It’s troubling news for commuters like Ariel Santos. He drives a large pickup truck from his home in Corpus Christi’s Southside-area to Christus Spohn Hospital Shoreline every workday.

“Coming back and forth four or five times a week, I’m filling up maybe twice a month,” Santos said. “So, you’re talking close to $250 maybe $300 a month on gas.”

Santos is not letting this month’s 29-cent spike in gas prices keep him from going home to San Diego, Texas for Easter.

“I think it takes about a quarter tank [of gas] in [his truck], so not too bad,” Santos said.

Historically, the Coastal Bend has had some of the lower gas prices in the country, and Dr. Lee says that will likely be the case for the rest of the year. As gas prices climb nationwide, Lee says the Corpus Christi-area should stay well below the national average for several reasons.

“We enjoy lower gas prices, because we have lower taxes, and we are close to the areas of [gasoline] production,” Dr. Lee said. “We would expect gas prices not to go beyond $3.00 by the end of the year per gallon.”